Grape harvest

Every autumn the girl participated in grape harvest on her parents’ land kept for growing corn, grapes for wine, fruits and vegetables, to support the family’s income, food and drink supply. Many relatives were invited, including the cousins. The children were set to work, each couple was assigned to pick grapes from a row of grapevines, stretching about 200 meters down a steep hill. It was supposed to be a whole day of work and the row looked never ending. The children set to work squatting by the grapevine. The girl’s father collected the buckets and emptied them into a crate, which he then loaded into the old Lada. Before this innovation, he carried the grapes on his back in a puttony (a large container on his back) up to the cellar for crushing. The Lada eased his strain a great deal. 

This particular grape type was extremely sensitive to touch. As soon as it was touched, the individual grapes fell, leaving the stem hanging without grapes. The soil under the vine was covered with grapes and her father noticed that the children left those on the ground. ‘Pick up all the grapes from the ground into your bucket! I will not have enough wine for next year!’ The girl felt angry, she did not care, so much work! But she kept her view to herself, only sharing it with the cousins. The solution came quickly, they crushed the grapes into the soil, making them disappear. The father was on guard and stopped it. A new solution emerged. They let the grapes down the mole holes. It was fun, especially doing it in secret, quickly, excitedly, keeping to themselves the giggles, jokes. The father soon caught them. The work was dull, lunch seemed never to come. After lunch they had to continue the monotonous work. It was close to dark when everyone had finished. Her body was aching, her legs trembling, tired all through and through.

Yet, it never occurred to her to stop working.