Sunday, October 2, 2011

Possum grapes and grapevines....

A week or two ago, coming home from the strip pits, I noticed these wild grapes. We called them possum grapes when we were kids...they are about the size of a big pea...some might be a bit bigger but not by much. I don't know about my brothers and sisters, but I always had to eat just a few of them. Were they ever tart!

I did not taste these, but I used to see them at the edge of the orchard and I would try them every now and then. I don't know if they were filled with seeds when I was a kid and I didn't notice, or if I caught them earlier than the ones I tried a few years ago. The ones at the orchard were so full of seeds that there was basically no taste to them.

And then there are the vines they grow on...they will get huge if left alone. At least 2-3 inches in diameter if not a little more. When kids, we usually had one somewhere that we would go and swing on. We would cut it off, and give a few test pulls on it to make sure it was not going to pull loose from the trees...almost always they were on the side of hill.

Either before I was born, or before I was old enough to remember, one of my sisters swung out and the vine broke with her. It swung way out and was long drop to the is a wonder she was not seriously injured. Heck, come to think about it, with the things we done it is a miracle that at least one of us was not seriously hurt or killed by some fool stunt like that.

Years later when I was probably 10 or 12, we had a grapevine swing just over from our house that swung out over the creek...a friend of the family was at our house...Leonard was about as close to family as you can get without there being a blood tie. Anyway, it was up in the day and I still wonder what he and my brothers were doing over at the creek at that time of day since there was always work to be done. Anyway, apparently I was following them. He decided to swing out on that grapevine. We had not tested it that summer....he swung out and it broke with him. It wasn't a big creek and not a big drop, but I can still see him landing on the gravel bar and laying there just a second before getting up.

Another summer when my nephew was spending the summer with us...the nephew that is the same age as me...we decided to go find a grapevine to make a grapevine swing. Well, it was a ways to where we went...probably a mile, give or take a little bit. It was up on the side of ridge...not all the way to the top. We swung a few times I am sure...I don't remember if it started to rain or if we just suddenly knew it was going to rain.

We headed home and before we even got close, it was pouring the rain....the way I remember it, it was one of those times it was raining so hard you couldn't see very far. We were soaked to the bone before we even got close to home. We had to cross a barbed-wire fence, then there was creek to cross. Normally we walked this log across...not this time...we just hit the creek running.

I don't know if there was thunder and lightening...I don't remember being afraid at all. I just remember laughing and the water running off us. And don't remember mom being upset at all.