Monday, June 21, 2004

Blueberries & Blackberries & Parents, Oh My

My 15-year-old and I visited my parents this weekend. Dad's 83, Mom's 80. They're doing very well, very healthy and active, although Dad takes a lot more naps than he used to. As always, they were excited to see us.

The drive is 2-1/2 hours from here. Not long, but always tiring if I leave after work (which I usually try to do so that I can get back Saturday night and have Sunday at home). Surprisingly, though, Gavin actually talked the entire way there -- he's usually the silent type but lately seems to be more and more talkative. I think the divorce and then the many moves were really hard on him, maybe even harder than I knew; but he seems much more open and happy than before.

On Saturday, Mom and Gavin and I picked blueberries at an organic farm. It was a lovely day for it; overcast and cool, but no rain (I think every other time we've gone it's been 100+ degrees F). And the bushes were loaded with berries. Since it's organic, and there is no insect spray, the berries can be eaten right off the bushes (I think they should weigh us before and after and charge us accordingly...). We've been going there for the past 10 years; Gavin and I passed it on the way home from taking his sister to summer camp, and decided to stop. I'm glad we did.

It's a lovely place. The blueberry man has been steadily making improvements over the years so that now there is a huge koi pond, a small waterfall, lovely trellises, and a huge terraced flower garden, planted with butterflies in mind. There were clouds of them, in all colors, from the little blue-violet ones I haven't seen for years to the swallowtails. Plenty of caterpillars, too. And the flowers were blooming profusely; even my mom couldn't identify them all. Masses of blooms in gold and orange and pink and white in all shades and sizes and colors.

Picking blueberries is a wonderful experience. The orchard is big enough to lose yourself in it. The ripest blueberries often hide under the leaves, so I often wind up halfway into the bush, looking for the biggest and bluest berries. It's quiet there; you can hear the meadowlarks and quail off in the distance. Even when there's a stiff wind there, there are so many bushes that all you feel is a mild breeze. And there are lizards hiding in and around the bushes. Not many bugs, though; a few spiders, that's it. Gavin's limit is half a bucket; my mom gets tired after a full bucket. I picked two, and could have gone for another, but they were tired and wanted to go home.

The blueberry man is married now; when my son and I first found his farm, he asked me if I was single, and then said, "Keep your options open." Guess he figured if my husband couldn't be bothered to spend a Saturday with his wife and kids, he wasn't worth much (he got that right). Later, after the divorce, we talked several times on the phone; but my hurt was so fresh and he was so bitter about so many things at that time (he's a Vietnam vet) that nothing came of it. Nice to see, though, that he's found someone so lovely; she's softspoken, queiet, about my age, tall, slender, with long, long brown hair (graying just a little). They seem to be a nice fit, and he seems very happy. Me, my options are WIDE open at this point. :)

Mom and Dad and I picked blackberries at another place later that same day. The bushes were loaded with berries; a good thing, because I didn't want to have to reach into the bushes very far because of the prickly thorns. Blackberry thorns are those little skinny spines that you can barely see that bother you for hours afterwards. The berries were really BIG, though; the largest was a good inch and a half long. And juicy and sweet. YUM!


1 comment:

Darrell said...

Thank you for stopping by Murmurers and leaving a comment. I enjoyed visiting your blog. In reading your most recent post I could almost taste the blueberries, warm and sweet, and feel the breeze in blowing through the field. I will definately be back for a second helping. : )