My daddy just brought me a handful of mayhaw berries…and with a Santa-like glisten in his eye said: “Bite into one of ’em…you might remember somethin’.”
I remember riding in the back of the pickup truck out to where my grandparents once lived before they sold their farm to a trucking company in Albany, GA…. with all my aunts and batefooted cousins …and I remember five gallon buckets and strainers and being scared to death of wading in the dark water under the mayhaw trees. I remember the berries that had dropped from the trees looked like piles of gold coins in that water. And I remember Daddy not telling all us youngins about the water moccasins swimming near us…’til we were on our way out of the swamp. We came home with enough mayhaws to fill our horse trough swimming pool… which made a perfect sink for washing the berries. I helped my mama make mayhaw jelly. I think we made twelve or thirteen cases and put some of them in a few gas stations to try to sell ’em. Which brings me to another memory…. Abbott’s Gas Station on Leary Road… Funny how a tiny nibble and a sniff can bring so many things back to life.
I was foraging before foraging was cool!