Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Super Mom's and a trip to Blueberry Hill

I can't say that the house was quite ready for me to leave it for a day and go blueberry picking (why does it take SO LONG to get everything unpacked and put away??), but we did it anyway. On our road trip east, right before we arrived, we saw signs along the highway that read: "Blueberry Hill U-pick." And I couldn't help it, I had to exclaim to the boys, "Blueberry Hill!!!!"

Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey, is one of the boys favorite books. It was one of my favorite childhood books as well. We read it often. As we would read the pages, I'd tell the boys that one day, we'd go blueberry picking on blueberry hill ourselves! They were always delighted at the thought. So, when I saw the signs so close to our new home, I had to announce it to the boys. We all smiled hugely. Blueberry Hill!!

I had mentioned Blueberry Hill to a friend (with a newborn baby girl and 2 year old son) that live here, and we decided to make a day of it and head up there together to pick blueberries.

The morning of the event, everything went as planned. We got out the door, 3 little boys and their mom, in record time, dressed, fed and our "little tin pails" in tow (quotation marks indicate a direct quote from Blueberries for Sal). We made the 50 minute drive without a single wrong turn and on the way I remarked a number of times that it was the perfect day for blueberry picking. The sun was hidden by a thin layer of clouds and the temperature was only in the mid 80's (compared to the high 90's we'd experienced since we arrived).

But just as we arrived, a few raindrops started falling. Our spirits refused to be dampened. A few raindrops never hurt anyone.

When we pulled in, we saw a sign that said, "Closed for ripening, reopening this weekend." But again, our spirits rose when we saw our friends already there and heard their announcement that they had talked with the owner and we could pick blueberries even though they were not technically open. What a relief!!

We unloaded and got ready; 2 moms, 2 infants, and 3 little boys and started picking blueberry's.

It drizzled a little. The baby's cried a little. But we kept at it.

The boys took great delight in Blueberry Hill, and especially in picking blueberries and dropping them, "ku-plink, ka-plank, ka-plunk, into their little tin pails" (another direct quote). At least for a while.

Then they resorted to playing in the mud, throwing rocks into the pond, and pulling each other in the wagon. They really had a great time. Aside from Isaiah falling down in the mud, causing the wagon (loaded with Joshua) to roll on top of him, many shed tears, and getting absolutely soaked in a torrential downpour.

That's right. It poured. The rain came and dumped water on us like nothing else. We could have brought soap and had a shower. It poured. We got soaked. But at least it was still warm.

The baby's cried some more. We stopped and fed them. The boys got into trouble some more, and we stopped and calmed them.

The blueberry picking was slow going. But... my friend and I cheered ourselves talking and fellowshiping together. Hurray for faithful friends!! At one point, we talked about the pioneer women who must have walked 5 miles to pick blueberries with multiple children in tow, (before the days of strollers and Baby Bjorns), spent just as many hours picking blueberries as we did, before walking home 5 miles, only to cut wood, to start the fire, to simmer down the blueberries, to can them for the winter--all while washing the laundry by hand and putting it out to dry in the back yard, hoeing the garden, and milking the cows. Then our 50 minute drive, picking berries in the rain, with 2 babies, 3 little boys, and water dripping off our necks didn't seem so bad. :)

And it really wasn't that bad. We had a good time. We picked a gallon of blueberries each (6.5 pints) and our family was able to enjoy the fruits of our labor (literally) at dinner time that evening.

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