Berry Memories

strawberryGooseberries makes me think of the house we lived in when I was about four or five years old. We lived in a government house in Mt. Hagen, Papua New Guinea. It was a cool house, set up on stilts, with wooden floors and a long hallway, that is about all I remember, we moved out when I was five. We arrived in PNG in 1975 shortly after they were granted independence by Australia. Most of the Australian government workers had left the country in anticipation of rioting and other unpleasantry, so the houses were empty for a few years, and they were happy to have us renting it out. My father was a missionary, advising on Bible translation into Pidgin English. We had a great yard with a huge gooseberry bush right near the stairs. I just loved how the little fruits were surrounded by the papery skin, like little Japanese lanterns, and could never wait for the fruit to turn orange and sweet. My mother would made delicious flaky gooseberry pie for dinner sometimes. My biggest mistake was eating so many green gooseberries I got seriously ill, but I guess a good lesson about patience and gluttony….

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