Picking Raspberries

Work After Supper in the Cool of the Evening to Beat the Summer Heat

Ed, my neighbor next door, has been relaxing in the shade of his yard watching me pick raspberries. He has been scoffing because I have been harvesting my raspberries after supper when the heat of the day is a bit less intense. I have been named an old flower child of the sixties who is afraid of the full sun of the day now by my neighbor. This year, my raspberries are both plentiful and a challenge to pick. All the rains in early summer encouraged relentless new growth so my raspberry patch is a real jungle. I’m not complaining, but pickings have been time-consuming as I poke around hunting the raspberries who love to hide. Ed refused any offer of raspberries as he claimed that their seeds got stuck in his teeth. I inquired if Ruby his wife would like some raspberries. Ed said, “Don’t give her any or they will be on the table and I won’t get a dessert that I would like better.”

I tried telling Ed how raspberries are healthy fruit to eat. I said they were rich in Vitamin C and K, and manganese. Tests have shown raspberries can be beneficial in lowering blood sugars and may act to prevent cancer. When I said they might also have the potential to help manage obesity, my neighbor said that I was living proof that raspberries don’t combat obesity. I asked Ed if he had ever seen or eaten black or purple raspberries. He said raspberries only come in red and that black and purple raspberries are a myth. Ed did not want to hear, either that Canada produced 12,285 tons of raspberries in 2011 which was 2% of the world’s production.  My faithful critic next door accused me of giving him more useless facts than an encyclopedia and went into his house.

It seems that folks often don’t want to hear about healthy food, and are ready to dismiss or argue when confronted with information of that nature. Leave me alone and let me eat what tastes good to me is often as far as people are willing to go. I must say no matter how expensive or celebrated caviar is, I would need to be forced at gunpoint to eat it. People will eat almost anything when they are starving so I might eat caviar then. Having enough food at the time of Jesus was not always a certainty. Periods of famine or starvation were common. Many of us are blessed with more than enough food to eat. We may even be picky eaters.

In the Bible, we are told how Jesus had compassion on a large crowd of more than 500,000 people. After being with him for a whole day, the people were hungry and they were in a desolate place and in need of food. All his disciples could see was the fact that they only had 5 loaves, and two fish and that could not feed so many people. Jesus stretched or multiplied the bread and fish so what they had so no one went hungry. They even had bread and fish left over. When we give even a little God can multiply it to feed the hungry.

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Raymond Maher
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