shilty(6)August 22, 2012

Most of you know my husband of 45 years fell December 15, 2010...he died April 2, 2011, having never fully regained consciousness.

A week after his funeral, my son had his first cancer operation, and began chemo and radiation therapy. That so damaged his thorax area, he lost the use of his arms, swallowing, breathing, and digestion was more difficult..then the cancer returned.

His funeral was May 6 of this year.

I've tried to downsize, don't cook all that much any more, thinking of moving to town, have said I'll go the moment I find a snake in the basement or at the front door...out here on the highway, nothing around after 6:00 p.m. Invited the family in and told them to clean out both barns, take what they wanted, some kept it, some sold what they carried away, and I've given what I can to friends and family that wants it...

My entire life I've gathered polk, sheep's shire, dock, wild asparagus, blackberries, raspberries, elderberries, shared bee trees when they've had to come down, gardened some, canned and frozen what was available in season..

Now there hangs the huge elderberries over my garage.. don't have to wade weeds to get them. And I have no need or use for them.

Always made elderberry jelly... gave it away with biscuits to some of the elders, as gifts, or just to take a hostess gift... something you cannot buy in stores. But not this year... Just don't have the umph to do it. Still have elderberries in the freezer from last year...

I have accepted my losses. grateful they are beyond pain, and truly believe I shall see them again. But my life has altered considerably... I am feeling like I'm wasting something... worried that I'm getting lazy, hate to waste food with everything so uncertain... the days of kids able to live on peanut butter and jelly might be gone.

So - tell me - do I harvest the elderberries and make the jelly and hope I find a home for it... or do I just leave them for the birds and accept that things are just different.


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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Shilty....harvest the berries....make the jelly....because that's what you do....and giving it away will make you feel better.
I too have had my share of losses....but I have discovered that giving something of my self....either my time my talent or special food makes things better....it really does.
I just made 19 jars of peach jam....much more than I will use in 5 years....but I give it away and it makes me happy to do so.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 11:19PM
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If you want to, make some people happy; but don't feel bad if you don't, think of all the birds and critters you give a gift to.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 6:39AM
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gmatx_gw zone 6

Maybe you could just offer the elderberries to someone you know who makes jellies and jams. And, some could be left on the plants for the birds.

Yes, things are different these days; it's hard to accept sometimes and I can certainly understand your feeling as though you are wasting something - but you really are not. Even if the berries are not harvested, they will be enjoyed by the birds and other animals.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 12:33PM
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