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Raspberries

Denny is on his way to Costco. He will be walking because Costco is only a ten minute walk away from our place. He puts on his coat and shoes and grabs a bag. I’ve only listed two items for him to buy but then he asks if I want anything else and I say, “Should we get some of those raspberries?” I don’t exactly say it as a question, I just throw it out there.

He knows what I’m talking about. The last time we went to Costco I bought raspberries and I remember his response. We both know we are talking about a particular experience. I remember his exact words.

“They taste like they’re freshly picked from the garden.”

They were the best raspberries I had tasted in a long time, just like the ones I remembered from childhood.

I used to pick raspberries for my mom. We had two rows of plants and that meant four sides of plants to pick. The plants are a little prickly and it’s a slow job stripping the soft berries off their stems. Eventually my mom tried to motivate us kids by offering us five cents for a two cup margarine container of raspberries. That worked for me.

Shortly afterward I moved from home and never picked raspberries again. I drive past raspberry farms in the Lower Mainland of BC and am always a little tempted to stop at a u-pick and pick raspberries.

“Do you want raspberries or don’t you?” Denny’s voice is a little impatient now as he stands at the door.

I see how Denny is thinking about the raspberry issue differently than I am and I think it’s time to broaden his perspective a little.

“If you suggested getting raspberries, I would get you raspberries.”

“You asked a question, ‘Should we buy raspberries?’ A question can have more than one answer.” Now his voice is rising a little in volume.

“You know, when I go,” and I’m smiling at him because this is getting interesting. This morning we heard of a woman we both know well who passed away. He knows what I’m referring to. “You will not remember the times you didn’t buy me flowers, you will remember the times you didn’t buy me raspberries.”

“Do you want me to get you raspberries or not? Yes, or no. It’s a simple answer.”

“If you asked me ‘Should we buy some ham,’ I would think to myself, Denny has been thinking about buying ham. Let’s buy some ham. I wouldn’t have any question in my mind….” Now he his talking over me but I continue talking. “I would turn the car around and head back because Denny has been thinking about ham.”

He is still saying something about there being more than one way to look at things as he opens the door.

“And on your walk to Costco you can give some thought to my way.”

I do see the hint of a grin on his face before he closes the door.

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