Thursday, September 15, 2011


Since I'm currently taking a little vacation down in my home town of sunny Paradise California, I figure that I really need to talk about what kind of fresh goodies I love to get while I'm here!
I've always had this tender love for blackberries.  All the berry vender's in Washington seem to sell flat after flat of raspberry's and blueberry's and strawberry's!  Me, all I really love in this world is a big, juicy, bubbly, dye your hands purple blackberry.  You will never see this girl put grape jelly on a PB&J!  It's blackberry all the way!
So it just so happens that I got my grubby little hands on a batch of fresh, home made blackberry syrup the other day, and I thought I would tell you a little bit about the woman I got it from.

My dad introduced me to a friend of his named Pat Anthony the other day.  Pat is a cheerful and delightful woman who is confined to a wheel chair.  She managed to keep such an infectious smile during our visit, and she had been feeling under the weather the entire day!  Before we left, Pat handed me a jar of blackberry syrup, which I almost opened immediately and started guzzling... but I refrained.
After leaving her house, Dad told me her story.
During the 1940's Polio was a huge pandemic.  Many children died from the deseese or were seriously handicap for the rest of their lives. In fact, my Dad was lucky enough to be a survivor of Polio with minimal long term issues to deal with, though Polio did steal several good years of his life. 
For Pat, though she was also lucky to be a survivor of Polio, she was restricted to a wheel chair for the rest of her life.  
Thinking about it today, there are still so many opportunities for people who are handicap like Pat.  Its moderately easy to get around and in and out of buildings, but back then, if you were in a wheel chair, living an active normal life was pretty much impossible, and society didn't really think much of it.   Pat, was never one to settle.  She fought for her right to finish High School in a public school system, requiring her school to accommodate her needs.   She then went on to get a college degree to practice law, and eventually became a judge.  She had a passion for animals and raised horses as well as dogs and other animals.
To me, she's quite the commendable gal!
And, even on a day when shes feeling under the weather, she still manages to whip up a jar of blackberry syrup for us.  So special!
My dad and I have been making milkshakes and poring it over ice cream all week long.
There is something about the blackberry's here in Paradise.  It must be the sun and heat that make them so good.  I remember when I was a kid scavenging ours and neighbors yards for blackberry bushes.  We'd just pick and eat them all day long.  We would come home with purple fingers and all kinds of cuts and scratches from the bushes thorns.  The best berries are always up high in the middle of the bush.
Of course, just like Pat, that never stopped us from getting to them........

"Beep Beep!" from The Little Road!

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