Friday, November 03, 2006


Some years ago, my mother and her friends planned a blueberry picking trip. They knew of a great spot in the woods near the old cabin where blueberries were abundant. The time was late August and the blueberries at the their best.

The blueberries are of low bush variety, several feet high and thick with many green leaves and when in bloom they have white or pink blossoms. The blueberries grow best in sandy or peaty soil that must be acidic and drained to a depth about 16 to 20 inches. The underlying soil below the sandy or peaty soil must have abundant mositure for the blueberries to thrive.

The group was having a great time enjoying the harvest of berries. Each of the group proceeded to pick, going in their own direction, spreading out and following where the best picking was. Soon the group was spread out, far from each other, but still enjoying blueberries. Time passed.

My mother found herself isolated from the group. She thought she could call for help, but there was no response. She walked back to where she thought her friends were, but couldn't find them. Evening was approaching. A little panic settled in.

My mother collected her thoughts and looked for a clearing nearby to sit down and rest. She had a nice pail of blueberries to eat when she felt hungry. Just, maybe, her friends would stop by or call. She waited. Darkness came. She curled up and fell asleep.

Her friends looked for her, calling her name, but could not find her. They called the sheriff's office and explained about the lost person. The sheriff stated that they would form a search party in the morning which included an airplane and pilot who was trained in searching for lost people. The area to be searched was somewhat remote, but well defined.

My mother was an experienced outdoorswoman and did not wander, but stayed near the clearing where she stopped early the previous evening. Morning came, and my mother awoke to the noise of a low flying airplane. She waved at the pilot and the pilot tipped the wings to acknowledge her wave. Within an hour the search party arrived. Needless to say, my mother was happy to see the group.

When she arrived home, her friends stopped by to ask about her night in the bush. She talked for hours about her adventure. She even got her story in the local newspaper. Mother was an ideal survivor in that she didn't panic, collected her thoughts, sat down and rested, had something to eat, and had a strong belief in her friends who would help in finding her.

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