A Gracious Place

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Blankie, Babies, and Bike...

Miranda and her girls
Originally uploaded by dandeelines.
It just doesn't get any better than this:-)

We Love the 80's

Bright Eyes
Originally uploaded by dandeelines.
A couple weeks ago we had a lot of rain and the temp actually dropped into the 80's during the day. We made the most of it by getting outside. After the weeks and weeks of 100+ degree days it really felt like a cool breeze. Of course, now it's back in the 90's, but it's all downhill from here.

B&W Profile
Originally uploaded by dandeelines.

Sweet Baby
Originally uploaded by dandeelines.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Berry Fun

My cousin sent me a facebook message the other day letting me know that she had gone blueberry picking with her mom and her brother and that she had thought of me. Not only did I let out an audible “awww” when I read the note, but vivid memories of blueberry picking as a young girl flooded my senses. I almost wrote my cousin back and gushed on her facebook wall, but thought better of it. But on the other hand, I need somewhere to gush…

I step out of the car, a little blinded by the sun, and see the outline of a big barn-like structure with a wide dark opening surrounded by rows and rows of bushes. We trudge across the white, gravel parking lot…crunch, crunch, crunch. My eyes adjust once again as we reach the cool shade of the barn. My sneakers seem to slip and slide on the shiny cement as I walk up to the counter to retrieve my 2 buckets, one to turn upside-down as a seat and one to fill with what I don’t eat as I pick. With the squeaky, thin, metal handles in my hands and yellow plastic buckets knocking against my legs the blueberry farm worker and her walky-talky lead us to our assigned bushes. I just know that she is passing by the “best” bushes as we walk, so my cousin and I grab a few blue, plump handfuls.

We all hover around two bushes: mom, my aunt, grandma, cousins, brother, sister and me. I try to find a shaded spot on the four-foot bush, turn my bucket over and sit down. Talking through the veil of branches we say things like; “There’s a good bunch on this branch”, “I just found some huge ones”, and “I dare you to eat this green one”. The art of blueberry picking involves grabbing bunches by the handful without dropping any and without including green ones, mushy ones, or stems. We are instructed to pick a bush clean before moving on, but since that is what the grown-ups are for, my cousin and I move on to a fresh bush. Soon the plop, plop, plop of the blueberries can no longer be heard as the bottoms of our buckets are covered with a single layer of blueberries. Not long after that we begin comparing how full everyone’s buckets are. The difficulty comes in deciding whether you would rather hear accolades about how much is in your bucket or eat as many as you can without making yourself sick.

After a while, our bottoms are sore and the backs of our legs have half-circle lines ingrained in them from the ridge on the bottom of the bucket. It’s announced by the grown-ups that we have “enough” and we head back to the barn to weigh-in. We ooh and aah over the poundage and watch as hundreds of blueberries, thud, thud, thud into the mammoth Tupperware containers we brought along.

We walk back across the parking lot a little more tired and weighed down. My cousin and I climb into the back of the yellow station wagon crowded by Tupperware. The drive home doesn’t seem as long as the drive there. As we pull into the driveway my cousin and I dramatically exclaim how sick we feel from eating "SO many blueberries" because, of course, we had eaten some more on the way home.

...I haven’t had that feeling in quite a while, but oh how fun it is to remember the times with the fam and all-you-can-eat blueberries.