Sometimes it takes 42 years to truly appreciate the value of some things.
OK, not really but at 42 years old, I fully treasure the simplest moments with my family. One such moment, wandering through the woods with my Dad the other night.
I told you I finally made fireweed jelly. And man do we all love it! So much, that the day after I made it I was on a mad scramble to find more. I knew there had been a bunch at Grandpa's house so out I went.
Most of it had already made it's way up the stalk so it was hard to find in one localized area but Grandpa had a plan. He marched me up and down and all around his property until we filled another pail right to the top.
During our walk, I watched him. And I listened. I realized he had a lot to share. He showed me rosehips everywhere and we talked about what we should do with them.
Then he showed me his secret blueberry patch which he partakes in every night during his evening stroll. I was glad to know he was doing something healthy; walking and putting a little superfood in his body every day. :)
He showed me high-bush cranberries and low-bush too. We talked about mixing them for jelly. I will have to research that option.
We found a few watermelon berries but not enough to do much with.
And he even scrounged up 3 raspberries, which he promptly shared with me.
We noticed a couple red clover and I told him I'd read about their health benefits. I'd like to find a patch to dry and make tea with next year.
We found a few remaining dandelion puffs. They make me smile now. I once might not have mentioned that.
I also smiled when he described the end-of-the-day at the lake and how it was his favorite time of day. I could feel his appreciation for the beauty of it all. His small part of the state. I believe it's what brought him here to Alaska-that beauty.
And, we seem to agree that our next hobby-turned into daily living, should be mushrooms.
He does seem to embrace my trips out on the limb of life, thank goodness. It would be such a lonely trip with out him.
We explored. He located different varieties of mushrooms and I photographed. We talked about which ones looked like art.
We looked for some with black spores which are lacking here.
I think we agree that there is something kind of nice about them.
Fairy-like, mystical I suppose. Even as a child I remember wanting to dissect them. We even discussed fear of lacking enough knowledge to be safe. Not that we would be hindered by fear but at least we acknowledged the need for education.
Whatever it was that we we were doing as we wandered, I recognized later it all lead me back to the fact that at 42 years old, I was young enough to still long for my Daddy's attention and old enough to be grateful I have it! The value of that love, well, lets just say, I know.
And at the end, we ended up with plenty of fireweed to make lots more jelly! Whew!