Sunday, June 08, 2008

Annual Customs and Yearly Traditions

Early June is when the strawberries ripen. For the past few years, I go up to Larriland Farm about an hour north of Alexandria to pick my own. I can usually get enough for about 4 batches of jam in one tray worth of picking. Once you add in the price of driving up there and back, it is probably more expensive than just buying jam at the store. But I find I enjoy the trip out of the city, and even the bustle and activity of making the jam.

Also, as I've mentioned in previous years, near the farm is a small village named Etchison that has a general store. The store sells outstanding pulled pork sandwiches. So I go, I pick, and I eat my sandwich, and it is a fine day.

I had planned to do all of this on Saturday. But there were some problems. My house - the yard, specifically - has been in a parlous state for a while. I had neglected it while Chris and Aaron visited successively over the past week and a half. So there were giant Cretaceous-looking weeds and plants growing along the fenceline, long grass: a general picture of decay and abandonment.

So Friday after work I got some supplies, including some sturdy shears, and set myself to work. Everything went very well until the very end. I went inside to fetch some durable trash bags to haul away the debris. They are under the sink. And as I stood it was like getting stabbed. I aggravated my back somehow. I think the common term would be I "threw my back out." Rest became the priority of the night. And all of the next day.

It felt good enough today to go up to the farm and get what I needed. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get my yearly sandwich - the Etchison Country Store is closed on Sundays. Fast food is a pale substitute. But I got my fruit, I made my jam, and my back is already feeling much better. I think a few days rest and all will be well. It is so damn hot right now, I don't especially mind laying low for a bit.

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