My first cousin Jill, owns a blueberry tree farm about a half an hour away from my home. Every year when she posts the blueberries trees are ripe, I try to make my way there, yet never quite do. The other day when she posted pictures of her ripe trees I decided to seize the…well, seize the blueberries, if you will. Now, I could have easily driven up there by my lonesome and picked a couple of pounds and been very satisfied with my day. But I decided to share this experience with my children. In addition, we contacted their cousins Mary and Ellie and invited them to spend the day with us as well.
I have to say though, when I made the original plans to go picking, I had no idea the outside temperature would rise to over 95 degrees with humidity sitting near 100 percent. But I was determined to get this job done on my only day off of the week, temperatures be damned.
The kids at the outset didn’t seem to mind, considering we stopped and ate lunch at Panera’s before driving up. In addition the car ride up to the tree farm was very pleasant all inside the nice air conditioned car. In fact, there were no complaints whatsoever until the first wave of heat hit them upon exiting my car. That’s when they began to wilt.
The farm is located off an old dirt road and hidden behind a lush grove of trees and bushes. “Where are we?” Mary asked, her voice quivering with faux fear. “Petersburg, Michigan, I replied. “This looks like a place people would grow pot…” The boy added. “Like you have a bead on where anyone would grow pot…” I replied. “Aunt Marsha, I’m beginning to think this is a bad idea…” Ellie chimed in and I set my car to park. “Nonsense, this will be good for you…” I said, ignoring the naysayers in the midst.
After checking in with my cousin’s partner, I passed out empty grocery bags and kitchen disposable gloves, to ensure we didn’t stain our hands blue and then approached the many trees, teaming with ripened fruit. We had barely begun to pick when the first waves of “Let’s go home,” began. “You know, I shoulda taken bets on how long you all would have lasted…” I said to no one in particular. “Fools bet mom, the answer is immediately,” the doll added and we both giggled in agreement.
The farm next door, housed a rooster who began to roost/cackle at us which for some reason unnerved the kids-Mary in particular . “What’s that noise?” She asked with a frustrated tone. “That’s a rooster, who apparently has his mornings and afternoons mixed up…” I replied. “Shut up rooster, leave us alone!” Mary shouted with ire. Sensing the girls unhappiness with the heat and blueberry picking all together, I offered, “You know, if you get too warm, there is cold water back in the car…” I don’t think I had finished that sentence before the girls dropped their bags and made a B-line back to my car.
Meanwhile, the boy, unsure what to make of our adventure chose to talk incessantly to me about a wide variety of subjects until I had to ask him to stop, “BAY!” I shouted interrupting him midstream, “PLEASE, stop talking for a minute, okay? I know, why don’t you listen to your music?” I said, hoping he would do just that. “I don’t want to miss hearing something important from you…” He replied. “What, are you afraid we’d leave you here?” I asked. “If it were up to my cousins, the answer would be yes…” He said and we laughed. “Why did you tell them this would be a good place to grow pot? Are you looking for a place to grow pot?” I asked. “I don’t know, you know me, I was just trying to be funny, and as per their norm, they took me literal,” He explained. “How much longer must I stay out here?” He asked. “Fill a quarter of your bag and I’ll be happy…” I answered. “Then that means I’m out of here…” he said and walked back toward the car.
As I continued picking berries, in the background I could hear Ellie yelling, “AUNT MARSHA! AUNT MARSHA! AUNT MARSHA! AUNT MARSHA I’M READY TO LEAVE…!” Which I dutifully ignored. A short time later, my doll approached and said “Mom, I’ll stay out here for a little while longer, since we’re doing this to save you money… but my syncope is beginning to act up…”
Oh brother! I was getting hit from every angle. “Here, take my keys and head back to the car, I’ll be along in a little bit. In the meantime, start the car and get the air conditioning going. That might placate them for a little while…” I said as I handed the doll my keys.
In the meantime, I continued to pick and work my way back to the car, keeping an ear out for the kids; until I felt I had enough berries. All told, combined we picked over 8 pounds of berries, saving me over $40 in future shopping trips. In addition, we stopped and ate some ice cream–the kids best answer to a hot summer day, before we dropped the girls off and headed home.