Monday, June 4, 2012

50 shades of blue(berries)

Last week, a friend sent out a message on Facebook to see if anyone was interested in going blueberry picking. Blueberry picking is one of those things that I had heard about and always thought would be fun to do with the girls. But, I'd just never gotten around to doing it. Apple picking in the fall is another one of those activities. A couple months ago I thought, "oh, we never made it apple picking last fall, we will definitely have to do it this fall." Then, I realized that this fall Molly will be in kindergarten. Which means, we'll have to become weekend people.

(Weekend people: People who do fun activities with their kids on the weekends. While I have no problem with weekend people, one of the joys of staying home is that you can do fun stuff during the week and avoid the massive crowds. If you know me, you know I do not enjoy crowds.)

So, I had a moment of panic and realized that my time with little ones is slipping away, and they're going to be in college before I know it, and then I'll be all alone ... then the sobbing started. Ok, so I may have gotten a little carried away, but you can see where I was coming from, right?

Anyway, with all that back story, you will, I'm sure, not be shocked to hear that I immediately said "yes" to blueberry picking. We planned to meet at 9am at a place called The Berry Patch, which is probably 30-40 minutes away. I needed caffeine first, though, so I had to stop at Sonic, and therefore were a little late.

Because we'd never been before, I didn't know the first thing about it. But, they give you a bucket, a plastic bag, and a twine to wrap around your waist. You can tie your bucket onto the twine and then can have two hands free for picking. Molly was listening intently to the woman explaining the process to us. She told us that they were picking in fields #11 and #12, and that we should only pick the blue blueberries, because the green and purple ones would not ripen and you would be left with sour, gross berries.

So, we made our way back to the appropriate fields (they plant the blueberries so they ripen at different times and can lengthen the picking season). There, we found Sarah and her kids, Owen and Tessa. They had already been there for a while, so Sarah already had quite the full bucket. We got started picking.

Charlotte was excited by the idea of blueberry picking.
Molly couldn't wait to tie her bucket to her waist.

Charlotte, Owen and Molly.

Remember when I said that Molly listened intently to the woman explaining what color blueberry to pick? Yeah, so, she was a little paranoid about the colors of the blueberries to pick. Meaning, she asked me before every single blueberry that she picked if it was the right color blue. Every. Single. One. Can you imagine that? I mean, really think about it. Every. Single. Blueberry.

Is this the right color blue, Mommy?

That was in contrast to Charlotte, who, despite our best efforts, refuses to learn her colors. So, she didn't care if she picked green or purple or polka dotted blueberries. They all went in her bucket.

That simple example shows so much about their personalities ...

Charlotte: Full-steam ahead. Molly: Cautious and careful.
After we finally filled our buckets (ok, no, we didn't get anywhere close to filling our buckets, but I was really tired of answering "Yes, that is the right color blue."), we headed back to the front of the patch. There, we paid for our blueberries, then rode the "berry train." It's this train of cut-out barrel-things pulled by a riding lawn mower/tractor. Molly rode by herself, but Charlotte rode in my lap. It sounds weird, but was actually pretty cool. We got to see a lot of the patch that way.

Charlotte, Owen and Molly in front of the Berry Train.
When we got back from the train ride, we had a picnic of, what else, blueberry muffins! My girls are muffin-a-holics, so they were happy as clams. Or, some other simile that is more appropriate. As happy as a bird circling a fully ripened blueberry patch? Ah well, you know what I mean.

Yummy muffins!
So, I got one more weekday activity in. The girls had a great time, and we got to serve the blueberries at Molly's birthday party that weekend. I would definitely plan on doing it again this summer. Maybe next time, though, I will bring a chart of appropriate blue colors for Molly to use as a reference cheat sheet. That could help save my sanity.

PS: NBC Channel 41 happened to be shooting a story about the Berry Patch while we were there. Check out the video, and you might happen to catch a glimpse of some familiar people in the b-roll at the beginning. (Hint: I'm wearing a teal shirt and tan hat!)


  1. You guys are famous, pictured on the news story twice. :)

  2. I've got lots of comments
    1.So I could pull up emails from last year I sent to my parents freaked out that Penny was color-blind. So no worries about Charlotte. She'll figure them out.
    2. I really wish I could avoid the weekend people. Or I guess we are the weekend people. I do have to say there are times on beautiful summer days when I grumble at work "and amy doesn't even want to spend time at the pool. grumble grumble...I love my job...grumble"
    3. You are a saint for dealing with "Is that the right color blue?" I don't know how much patience I would have for that. I'm sure Penny would pick like Charlotte and we'd end up with a bunch of unripe blueberries.

    1. 1. I'm glad it's not just Charlotte who we sometimes feel is color blind. That makes me feel a lot better!
      2. While I don't like the pool, I do like the pool a whole lot more on the weekdays than on the weekends!
      3. My sainthood was a bit in question by the end of the picking episode, let me tell ya!

  3. Another great story, Amy. You are truly gifted!