Raspberries are my favorite fruit, possibly even my favorite food. They make me think of summer in my grandfather’s garden (my dad’s dad, Mike, never to be confused with the other one, who I call my mother’s father, period).
Don’t get the idea that was some recurrent thing I did in summers or in anytime, spend time with my grandfather in his garden; even though it is a special secret and sacred place in my memory, in actuality it was a place where I scarcely ever got to go, because my parents are vagabonds because they had this awesomely secure childhood in a small town and this strong sense of identity, so they can ramble from place to place, whereas I crave that exact type of feeling of belonging and having roots, and have never had it. I come closest where I live now, where I have chosen to carve out a little cave for myself, but I cannot ignore the fact that I am basically a person without a place I’m “From” when someone asks. If I have a memory of riding my trike, I have to stop and ask myself like, which mobile home park was that? Was that when we lived in the first or the second place in San Jose? There is no permanence, there is no consistency, until I was in my early teens and we moved to the Central Valley.
I get a shade of what it must be like for my parents, what it must be like to have an identity associated with a place, when we do on rare occasions visit family in Priest River. It’s weird to walk through a cemetery and realize how many dead people you’re related to because both sides of your family are from the same remote logging town in Northern Idaho. Honestly? I always buy newspapers from there and even bought a town anniversary book that had a history of it; I love it there. I suppose if I had grown up there I would have hated it, at least, that’s what I try to tell myself. Anyway, today my father sensed I was sick and maybe emotionally a little under the weather as well (awww, love that understatement), and he brought me some raspberries from the Raley’s.
I guess “home” is what you make it be; maybe it is more about people than about places or sights. Either way. Raspberries! Feeling that sparkly pop on my tongue is the best thing to happen to me in several days.