by Arbutus (Bell) Milholin
Wild fruit was an important part of the country diet. The whole family was mustered out to collect wild strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Gooseberries and even choke cherries and pin cherries were gathered for jams and jellies. Grandfather Bell has planted a large orchard. All kinds of apples, cherries, pears and plums.
One year Aunt Josephine and Mother had new babies. Alvin was a bit older than Ted. Mother picked berries for both families and Aunt Josie nursed both of the boys!
The men were involved in the berry picking. Especially blueberries. One year Dad and Mother, Grandpa and Josie took their families on a campout at O’Brain Lake. They took a stove, jars and sugar. In the evening the women canned the berries and the men fished. Lyle was about three and still wearing dresses. He fell in the lake, his dress floated and Grandpa stuck his cane pole under his dress and pulled him back to shore.
Picnic menu was always the same - potato salad, hard boiled eggs, homemade bread and butter, green onions and radishes, cookies and a two quart jar of tea. Mother brought three white granite plates for the three of us. We still use them at our picnics. They hold a lot more memories that the paper and styrofoam ones people use today.