August in Maine:
Blackberries, Rosehips and an Old Barn Clean-Out
August’s “last three weeks” are very active for antiques. Crescendo scale antiques shows and antiques auctions fill “all my time slots” reports a local woman collector. For myself this annual “Maine summer” stretch begins with “The blackberries are ripe. I just ate some”. Everyone sounds that alarm… then display their berry picker’s signature purple stained hands and scratched arms and legs.
Also: The rosehips are ripe. These are the fruit of the wild roses that grow by our Maine farm backdoor, shed door and barn door. We didn’t plant them. I do “encourage them” meaning I do nothing to them ever except “trim them back” when they are “in my way” …sort of. No one ever mentions them; the roses or the rosehips. I taught my daughter how to eat rosehips when she was four. Decades later I still see her eating them. She does it just as casually as a hummingbird visits the bee balm. Please see the bee balm post (label: Garden) for a Maine farmyard antiques story.
How do you eat a rosehip? Hold the blossom bottom in your finger tips and bite off the top getting all …and only… the fruit above the seeds. That’s the biggest bite. Then nibble around the side …again avoiding the seeds. Then pitch that seed core away and get another rosehip. The birds love the tossed seed core. What does a rosehip taste like? A tomato.
Old Barn Clean-Out.
The state road blacktop stopped at the head of the farm’s soft sand “drive”. The farm was back behind an overgrowth that hid it from view. The yard was shaded on the “small cape” house side by tall, full growth, White Pines. The barnyard side was barren with the sun scorching the whole area. “The people” were still staying in the house until “we go BACK on SUNDAY”. We wouldn’t have access to the house contents until MONDAY. But since we had “paid in full” for the whole estate contents …including agreeing to the Sunday – Monday departure / access terms… THEY (“the people”) said WE “could start in the barn if we’d like”.
“We’d like.” I told them and then showed up on THURSDAY morning with three trucks and three “men” (besides myself). Directing the back-up-to-the-barn-door positioning of the trucks, I quickly set up the core “stripping the good stuff” procedure that …began right away without commentary nor, surprisingly, any of “the people” coming out of the home to… “bother us”. I went ahead of the threesome reviewing, with camera in hand… “what” was “going out” in this first load. In less than an hour and a half, there was “not a good thing left” in that old barn. There was plenty of “stuff” left in that old barn… but we’ll get back to all of that at the end of this week. We started "in the house" this past Monday.