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Monday, 29 September 2014


I have a history with grapes. When we lived with my grandfather Pretty on Old Topsail Road in St. John's, my mother put my wooden playpen on the front veranda in the summer. This was the summer before we moved to Maddox Cove. I turned three that autumn.

The play pen is still very clear in my mind. It was blond colored wood, with two pieces of wood making up its floor. The pieces met in the center and each piece had a circular hole to allow fingers in to bring up the floor when the playpen was folded away. The sides had hinges to allow them to collapse as well.

I sat in that playpen and various people, such as Mrs. Ash from the other side of the duplex, talked to me. My greatest joy however, occurred when I had grapes, which I peeled with my fingers, ate, and poked the skins down through the holes in the bottom of the pen. Any time Mom put away the playpen, there was a pile of grape skins underneath. I loved the grapes and the effort to peel and conceal the skins. 

Last year I bought a grape vine at a nursery here in Prince Edward Island. I knew that people grew grapes here but I never imagined that I could grow them. This year, the plant grew up around one of the posts of the patio, which provided natural support for the vine. I watered the plant every time I watered the nearby tomato plants. Grapes actually appeared, though they were tiny. Today when I picked the last of the rhubarb, the grapes were nearby in all their deep purple glory. 

They have tiny seeds, and are sweet, but not plentiful enough so as to do anything significant with them this year. Who knows what the plant will produce another year? Meanwhile our granddaughters will help pick the tiny treasures this year. I will make a few spoonfuls of jelly because I cannot bear to waste those precious grapes or the sweet memory.

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