Before we left for home that Iowa summer, Gramma handed me a green sprig from her raspberry thicket, the taste of tart, red berries, smothered with cream and sugar, still fresh on my tongue.
Somewhere in Colorado, I carefully hid the jarred cutting in a small box beneath a pile of beach towels.
We were stopped at the California border. Department of Food and Agriculture agents searched our VW van for fruits and other contraband goodies, then waved us through.
A few miles down the highway, you lit up a thick joint, blasted the tape deck, as we giggled with relief.
Back home on Sierra Bonita, you tended your marijuana patch in our black-lit garage with furtive care, while I relinquished my treasure to the rich earth and a gardener who couldn’t distinguish plants from weeds. So I staked up a penciled sign: ATTENCION! ESO ES BUENO! (This is good) to keep the man from yanking it out.
Then those Iranians came in, bought the property, razing our farmer dreams.
Sometimes when I think back to those times, I imagine the newcomers harvesting our abundant crops and marveling at their good fortune.
In my wildest fantasies, I see us up in Humboldt County now, feasting on homegrown produce, making millions in pot production, living life in a raspberry haze of bliss.
Dianne taught grades K-3 in Los Angeles for many years. She now writes poetry and picture books for kids. Her latest, HEY, LITTLE BEACHCOMBER, was released in Nov. 2019 from Big Belly Book Co. She is a frequent contributor to the Highlights magazines.