from 6 Ways to Where by R Mac Wheeler
" "I need to make a decision," I said
"What I want to be when I grow up."
"So what do you like to do?"
"I could kill people for a profession," I said. "Assassin. If I'm going to do something, I want to get paid well for it."
"You think," he said, "that's a valid career choice?"
Why cross anything off the list?"
This is a mulberry tree, a baby, if size is any indication, growing in the grounds here, up near the front fence.
this is what the fruits look like; red like this are the unripe ones,
the fully ripe fruits are black, juicy and sweet.
Since the fruit began ripening, several of us who walk past daily, have stopped and picked a handful to enjoy. Today, when I walked to the tree, I found all the lower branches, and higher than I could reach, had been stripped of all ripe fruits.
Someone must have come by with a bucket :(
The remaining ripe fruits are way up high, hence the blurriness of the above photo.
I'm remembering now a mulberry tree in the yard of our Queensland home, where my two eldest children were born.
The house had a very large, sloping yard, a slope that meant we could bundle the kids into sleeping bags and roll them downhill until they were stopped by the fence at the bottom.
Not that we did, the kids were too small to take such risks.
We had two large Jacaranda trees, three small stands of banana palms (yum) and way down in the back right hand corner, the biggest, oldest mulberry tree I have ever seen.
Absolutely covered in delicious fruits every year. I remember stripping the babies naked when I fed them mulberries, so as to save their clothing from stains.
Mulberry juice stains fingers, faces and clothing quite badly.
Takes a few days to wear off fingertips, impossible to remove from clothing that cannot be bleached.
One summer, a couple of months before my second baby was born, hubby K and his best mate M decided they'd make mulberry wine. Neither had ever made wine before, they had no recipe either.
All they had was mulberries, buckets and enthusiasm. And beer.
M's wife K, brought their babies to visit with me and my daughter, while the men picked bucket loads of mulberries and drank beer, carried them up to the kitchen, drank beer, cooked them in batches in my biggest pot with bags of sugar for fermentation, (well, that's what they said) and drank more beer.
As the mulberries were cooked and cooled, the juice was strained into emptied and cleaned beer bottles they collected throughout the preceding months. They capped them and stored them under the house, said it would turn into wine in about three weeks. The drank more beer and fell asleep on the lawn.
K took her babies home to bed, I finished cleaning up the kitchen and went to bed myself. Left the men on the lawn.
A week or ten days later, they decided to taste test this "wine", see how it was developing. In between beers, they tasted from several mulberry bottles, no decision was made on whether or not it was any good, but they got happily drunk and spent another night sleeping it off on the lawn.
And so the summer went on, with beery weekend afternoons and mulberry "wine" taste testing, until one day it was declared the "wine" had gone "off" and the remaining bottles were emptied onto the grass under the mulberry tree.
The following summer, the kids and I got to enjoy the fruits again.
There was no more wine making.
Instead, we acquired an above ground swimming pool, from a friend of a friend....someone anyway.
A few of the parts were missing, notably several of the curved strips that held the plastic liner firmly around the top of the pool. And the instructions were missing. No problem, said K and M, who proceeded to put it together as best they could.
Remember here that we had a sloping yard.
Neither of them, (or me for that matter), thought about creating a level patch for the pool to stand on. It was put together on a flattish section of the slope and a long hose ran from the tap to fill it up. The pool was fairly large, so we all went inside to eat while the hose did its job.
Eventually there was enough water to be considered "swim-able", so K backed up and took a running jump over the side into the water. This created a huge wave effect which pounded the opposite side of the unstable pool, collapsing it entirely and K was carried on the water as it poured down the yard.
I had no camera at the time which saddens me now that I think about it, the expression on his face was priceless.
The pool was packed away and we continued to use the pool available to us at the Army Base, which lay at the end of the long driveway/carpark just over our back fence.
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