19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Thursday, April 30, 1914: But we went today and got all we cared to carry home. It is quite a distance and my legs ache by this time.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
I’m guessing that Grandma and some of her friends picked lots of training arbutus. Two days prior to this entry she wrote:
Was going for trailing arbutus this afternoon, but the other girls didn’t have time to go, so it’s postponed til tomorrow.
It apparently took two days to actually get the group together to pick arbutus.
Trailing arbutus are also called mayflowers. Several years ago when Grandma wrote about gathering trailing arbutus, I found a description at The Write Way about what it was like to pick them. It’s still the best description I’ve ever seen, so I’m going to repeat it here:
I have such crisp memories of picking wild mayflowers with my brother. Scrounging around on the sun-splashed forest floor, moving decaying leaves with our bare hands to find a delicately scented flower smaller than a dime.
Trailing arbutus are not easy to find; their flowers tend to hide under the leaves. It takes quite a few flowers to make even a small bunch, but they were worth it.