Friday's Weekend Column
Cowslips And Blossoms

by James Glaser
May 16, 2003

I drove over to the Big Fork Clinic yesterday to have my back checked out. I had a session in Physical Therapy and felt pretty good on the way home. Today I am right back to where I started, only worse. Now I am back on bed rest and what is so sad is that it is so beautiful out.

I was going to write about how the first wild flowers of spring look the brightest, because everything in the background is gray and dull. Right now nothing is growing in the ditches, except cowslips. With the gray background, their hunter green leaves stand right out and the solid bright yellow flowers can be seen from a long ways off.

On both side of the road you can spot the fruit trees, as these are now filled with blossoms, but still no leaves. I always try to mentally remember where these trees are so when the choke cherry, plum, or June berries are ripe around home, I can go check these others out. Many times a late frost will destroy the crop in one area and they are just great a few miles down the road.

It seems strange to me that so few people can fruits and vegetables. With wild fruit, all you have to do is pick it and the jelly is so much better than store bought. That is the same for vegetables from the garden, but you have a lot of time invested in your garden with planting, weeding and weeding and then some more weeding, oh yeah hoeing too. Then you have to keep the animals out, so you want to save everything you can't eat fresh. The wild fruit is just right there for the picking and the only animals that are after it are the birds and bears.

Every year several people have asked me if I want the fruit from their trees or vines as they don't use them. I guess they don't know what they are missing. Maybe it is the fact that people don't have the time any more. Everything costs more and people are out working on those Saturdays that they had free in the past.

It seems even up here in the woods the modern world has arrived. Everyone needs a new truck, four wheeler, and snow machine. Now there are casinos every hundred miles and every day new credit card offers come in the mail. It seems that banks are right there, ready to make that consumer loan, because they know if they don't, the finance company will.

Maybe this need to spend more and to have all the toys is due to the fact that our own President and those in Congress can't stop spending either. Washington has set the tone for America and if our leaders can buy everything on credit, why not us. Consumer debt keeps our nation afloat, but when we all max out our credit, everyone will be in trouble. But that is what we continue to teach our children to do and it will be quite a shock to them when they realize we are passing all of that debt on to them.

Many of the older people in the neighborhood still do things the old way and some still have root cellars to keep the harvest in. Children still come home to help with the fall harvest or spring maple syrup season. If things ever do get real bad, there are still a lot of Americans ready to teach others how to fend for themselves.

Several times my Mother has said that another Depression would not hurt us one bit and it might just bring us all down to earth. Washington is doing its best to get us into one and now I can see what my Mom meant.

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