Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Very Best Berry Year

Oh, yes, I've never seen so much berries to pick in my whole life! Not even here in a place where berry bushes grow wild in the fields. Every summer since I came, I've been picking different kinds of edible berries, a kind of leisure activity that I do enjoy. This summer is certainly a time of epic abundance.

First came the wild strawberries (smultron in Swedish), the sweetest and tastiest of the berries. We picked from the countryside, but I also pick from our potted ornamental plant. Why should I let them shrivel there for aesthetic sake when they're so delicious to eat? Ha-ha!...naughty me!

Then came the blueberries (these are European blueberries which are different from the American ones). We used to hunt for fields and forests in the countryside where we could pick them. But this summer, we discovered a spacious pine forest with blueberry undergrowth just close to our residence. And they were overflowing with ripe berries! Since then, we've been picking from there until we're exhausted.

I also stumbled upon a cloudberry (hjortron in Swedish) field in the ski trail area not far from our unit. By that time, somebody had been there to pick the ripe ones. I stopped by for a sec to pick just one for my photo specimen.

Now, the prevailing berries are raspberries. These wild bushes grow everywhere and anyone can pick to his fill. Even if somebody has already harvested, more berries get ripe the following day, so there are always berries for all who would love to pick.

We've picked so much blueberries and raspberries that we had to freeze most of them to the extent that there's no space left in our freezer to stuff more berries. We're also giving away some of our harvests.

So now we have an ample store of berries that would last for some months. But what should we use them for? Muesli breakfast, cakes, smoothies, ice cream, etc.

Should we pick more? Probably. It's not just about accumulating but it's about the joy of picking. We can give some to the elderly or sick friends who are unable to pick. And we can always have something fresh to eat day after day until all the berries in the field have been picked. But I think much will remain unpicked and wither on the twigs.

Such super abundance is just a foregleam of the wonderful new world that our loving Creator has promised to his faithful ones. (Psalm 72:16)

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Monday, August 10, 2015

Busy Days of Summer

So busy that there's not much time to write and post about things and memories I've been wanting to store in this cyberhome. For now, I'm just scribbling a few things in this stream of summertime before getting down to an account of an impressive journey that we have had recently.

Now that all our summer holidays are over, we're back to the normal routine of life - secular job, ministering to peoples' spiritual needs, daily walks for a healthy body, household chores and some small leisure activities.

Since summer is short and the bright days (and nights) will soon be replaced by darkness again, we take advantage of this season by making the most of it, cramming the days with activities that are not possible on other seasons.

These are days to tend to our little flower bed in our back porch and make it pleasant-looking. Our summer perennials have started to bloom.

We also added a collection of different aromatic herbs planted closely in long boxes.

The potted cocktail tomatoes are a source of delight as we watch the gradual growth and  ripening of their fruits.

We also cultivated red sunflowers in pots, along with ornamental wild strawberries planted at their bases. The sunflowers are starting to bloom now and the wild strawberries have been yielding little berries.

Berry-picking is also a joyful activitty during the season.


Wild strawberries (smultron in Swedish)

Cloudberry (hjortron in Swedish)

Sometimes, we had supper at our veranda, with grilled chicken or pork and vegetable salads.

And, of course, my hands are also busy with the camera, capturing astronomical summer and travel images.

These are some of my simple pleasures this summer which deserve a space in my treasure box of beautiful memories.

There's a lot more to do during the remaining days of summer, but I'm glad I got this chance to jot down a little about what's going on these days. And I wish I could keep up my blogs with the season. I'll try to make that wish come true.

Have a beautiful week!

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