It was warm and windy today so I wandered outside and pruned our small grape vine. It probably wasn’t the ideal time to do so, but I rarely worry about such things in Oklahoma. I had been thinking about the task for a while, but just hadn’t felt Dad nagging me yet. Today I looked out the window and knew it was time.
Grapes have been a part of my life since I was four years old. I spent most of my childhood cutting grapes, pruning and tying vines, irrigating vineyards, loading boxes for the winery, and watching our neighbor’s raisins drying in the sun. Dad was always there, supervising, instructing, admonishing me to do whatever I was doing “better and faster”.
When we moved to Oklahoma I thought I would never see another grape vine, but during the time I had been living far away in California a successful winery had sprung up near my grandparent’s old home place. I also discovered lots of home gardeners were growing grapes. If they did so during my childhood visits here I guess I just hadn’t noticed.
When we moved to a house in the country near Caddo there was a healthy grape vine on the fence. And crazy optimist that I was, I planted two more. So, there I was pruning and watering grapes again. And whenever Dad visited he always reminded me that I hadn’t pruned them enough or tied them correctly. I told him I really didn’t care- I quickly learned that I couldn’t harvest the grapes anyway because the raccoons and other critters of the woods always beat me to the fruits of my labors.
I find it ironic that even though we moved to town there is still a fence with a grape vine to be watered and pruned and tied. And Dad still nags me in my mind about taking care of it properly. And the local birds, squirrels, and perhaps even a raccoon, still eat the grapes before I can. I guess if I really want to eat some I need to buy a bunch from the grocery store.