I was looking at my grapevine wreath this morning and memories just kept coming. Years ago, I did crafts to supplement our income. Although I loved to paint, crafting was in my blood. Fall craft shows, at my house, sent me looking for various natural things to use in my crafts. Grapevines were the best. I would go in the truck and scout out fence rows covered with vines...in our small country town. I would be dressed in jeans, long sleeved denim shirt, a farmer's handkerchief tied around my head, heavy gloves, and sturdy shoes...got the picture? Driving down the road my eyes would begin the search. After living in this town and doing this for a couple of years...I began to know where the "good ones" were. Sometimes I would beg my husband to go with me...to help. He did so...reluctantly...knowing what he was getting into. When you "pick" grapevines...you can't be shy, you have to just start cutting and pulling them down. I usually could fill the truck in an hour. They are very unwieldy...and have minds of their own it seems. Sometimes I would start pulling and find that I had almost a truck full with one tug. They were tough and if I pulled too hard they would suddenly let go and I would find myself sitting down hard on my behind. One year found me alongside a railroad track with rose hips growing. I got right into them. Clipping away and tossing them in the truck. My gloves were just cloth gardening gloves, and the thorns pierced my fingers. I didn't care...this was a treasure trove. I worked until my fingers were bleeding...so happy to have found this spot before any other crafters did. We were all in competition with each other...we crafters who sold to stores. We didn't let on to our secret spots. Sometimes I would share my vines with the other crafters in town...but they never knew my spots. I picked these rose hips for a few years...then one year..they were all gone. The railroad had sprayed for weeds and the roses never came back.When I drove back into town, the neighbors just shook their heads. They must have thought that I was a crazy lady at first. After they got used to me and my "gatherings" they would help out... by telling me where I could find more. The truck would be emptied and then the creative work began. Twisting and wrapping and tugging those vines and trying to make perfectly shaped wreaths with imperfect vines. Cutting off the leaves and stray twigs as I went...I loved it when there would be curly cues...and left them on for interest. Sometimes I would make them into heart shapes and tuck rose hips in...here and there. A truckload would make a dozen or so wreaths. The leftovers make tiny little wreaths. Such fun and good memories for today...the day before Valentine's Day.