The Prompt from: The Daily Prompt 2016 by J. C. Cauthon
Blackberry Bushes and Applesauce by Sojourner McConnell
I remember the Summer we went to my Granny’s to live. My brother and I were staying with my neighbor, Mrs. Clarke. We went there everyday during the summer and after school in winter. Will and I played with her little boy, Matthew. We were there, as usual, when the policeman came to the door and told Mrs. Clarke some bad news. It was only after the police left and my Granny came to her house that they told us what had happened. My parents were gone. There had been an accident on their way home from work.
I was scared and confused. I was only 11 years old and Will was only 5. I was always close to my little brother Will, I felt like I was the only one he had left, other than Granny.
We had visited Granny’s farm before as a family. Mom and Dad, Will and I. Now it just didn’t seem right, it wasn’t a vacation. It was to be permanent. I can remember the first night with the crisp line dried sheets on the bed that smelled of sunshine and bleach. It was a smell that made me miss my mom even more.
I was lost in memories of coming here with her to this farm and picking apples. Not just picking them, but going into the kitchen and helping her and Granny make applesauce. Will was just a baby and Mom would place him in the high chair that had been hers as a baby.She would feed him the fresh applesauce, still warm from the stove. I could almost smell the apples in the air as I remembered those moments with my Mom.
Then I closed my eyes and shifted deeper into the sheets and I had another memory. It was the day my Mom and Dad and I left Will with Granny so that we could go out to pick blackberries. The sun was high over heard and I remember my Dad warning me about snakes. I was scared at first to put my hands in to the blackberry bushes, but I finally did. I did it and I was rewarded with blackberry preserves that next morning for breakfast. I was never so scared as I was that day. Listening for snakes and tentatively sticking my hands into those prickly bushes. I remember how proud my Dad was of me.
I felt the tears start to fill my eyes. My Mom and Dad would never be proud of me again, I thought. There would never be moments with applesauce and blackberry bushes ever again. Mainly I cried for Will. He did not have the memories of Blackberry bushes and making applesauce with Mom and Granny, like I did.
Before I fell asleep, I promised myself that I would make those memories for Will. We would go out tomorrow and pick the ripe red apples from the trees in the pasture and ask Granny to make some applesauce. Then we would make the trip to the shrubby area by the trees and pick blackberries. I would use my most serious grown up voice and warn Will about the snakes. We would make new memories that would go hand in hand with the old ones. I would make sure that Granny and I made Will some wonderful memories to hold onto.
Now we are here at Granny’s once again. This time to say goodbye to her. Will and I sit on the back swing gently pushing off with our feet. Funny how that motion comes without even thinking about it. It is like the muscles know what to do and automatically do it. As we swing, Will and I recall all the times we sat here before watching the sunset in the horizon. We talk about the memories we have growing up here. The main ones we both share have to do with blackberry bushes and applesauce.