Monday, July 8, 2013

Cranberry Picking

                In the area that I live, there are berries of all sorts that grow wild; strawberries, raspberries, black berries, huckleberries, and cranberries. Strawberries grew in sunny fields, raspberries and black berries of sunny areas in patches, and cranberries in wet, soggy bogs.
                As children we picked strawberries in some fields nearby our home. (It was in the same area that the abandoned campground was located.) We picked huckleberries near Somerset, Pennsylvania, blackberries and raspberries where ever we could find them.

                My father-in-law showed me where there was a cranberry bog. We went on occasion to pick the wild cranberries. We had to travel several back roads to get there.
                Bud’s family had an amorous story that they would tell about the cranberry bogs was that Bud and Retha once enjoyed a time of passion while they were there. Retha would always smile whenever someone would mention going to pick cranberries in the bog.

                After Bud passed away, she couldn’t sleep in their bedroom. She would sleep on the couch in their living room. She thought that she might be able to sleep in it if it was remodeled. She wanted a window closed off that people could look into her bedroom from the porch. She was afraid to sleep by herself. Patching the wall and sealing off the outside wall wasn’t easy, but we did it. We painted, bought a single bed, (which she wanted to try,) and rearranged the furniture.
                In the end, I don’t think she spent a full night in the room. She told us that she couldn’t sleep without having something against her back. (I think she was used to have Bud sleeping against her at night.) Bringing back the double bed and putting everything back the way it was didn’t cause too much of a problem, although we did leave the window sealed off.

                When Bud died, we went with Retha to the funeral home to make the arrangements. She needed to choose the casket, select the memory cards, what she wanted as announcement in which newspaper, decide on the services needed, and the dates for the funeral. Once all of the arrangements were made, the funeral director did the total and placed the contract before Retha to sign.
                It still breaks my heart to recall her face as she took the pen. She looked up with tears streaming down her face. A look of hopelessness crossed her face. She couldn’t have looked more abandoned, forlorn and desolate than if she had been signing his death certificate herself.
                He was buried with military honors.

The plot that they selected was beside the plot where his mother-in-law was to be buried and father-in-law was already buried. He always said that he didn’t want to sleep beside his mother-in-law for eternity, but that is where his body is resting.
The other thing he joked about his burial spot was that it was located on a small hill that overlooked the home of friends of Bud. He would tease the wife that she needed to close the drapes of her bedroom, because he would be able to look into her bedroom window.

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