Huckleberry Jam

Dear Ma,

I used your old recipe tonight. Do you remember Dad hiding the Huckleberry Grand Marnier Preserves in the stair well? He hid it so you wouldn’t give it away. Thats good jam!

I put in more berries and less sugar, you know it, I doubled the Grand Marnier.

It was a good berry year. Lisa and I were up hell-and-gone filling buckets.

When you said 5 and a half cups of huckleberries I figured you meant six.

I know you weren’t much for following recipes.

The place is different now. Dad would have gone crazy, crazier, I mean. 

You might like it. Plenty more people. Just as many scrambling as there used to be.

Just like back then, it is almost impossible to help them no matter how hard you try. Now it is more evident. Not that you would have quit trying.

My writing doesn’t try to save, It fights a losing battle. I try to remember, what you said, about the reason to write at all, to mend. To come half way.

I imagine you giving up your painting and photography for that half way promise you gave to your distracted partner, your daughters and sons.

Your favourite died last fall. Ron passed, he was ready, he’d lived several lifetimes. 

I opened a bag of sugar, stored in the basement, it was full of ants. Little ones. If I was making the jam for just me I would have cooked them up, Instead I threw the sugar away. Such waste.

Luckily the sugar upstairs was ant free, It’s still good here ants or not.

I don’t want to tell you about all the changes, some would make you sad. The huckleberries still grow on the slides and cutblocks. Invermere still holds council but no one cares they line their own pockets. It’s little fish now. 

Times don’t matter like they used to. The past is gone. The future is hazy, dependant on what we can’t control.

I boiled the huckleberries, hard, for a good minute. I don’t want stiff jam or syrup. 

It’s hard to know how it will turn out regardless of attention.

I should tell you about your great grandchildren. You have a slew of them:

Grace, a beautiful young women who looks like you and Wynanne.

April, a free spirit who holds her head up regardless of company.

Kyler, passionate, still trying to figure out right from wrong.

Bellle, named after you, she has a soul you are probably talking to right now.

Cooper, a tender, gifted young boy that loves hard. You may have to help me with him

Scarlett, an artist, who loves to laugh, and when she laughs it fills the room.

Koehyn, the youngest of your great grandchildren, I am told he is a rambunctious little guy.

The jam is cooling. I followed some of the recipe.

Love, Bob 

3 thoughts on “Huckleberry Jam

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