This morning I awoke to a darkened bedroom and the sound of thunder.
Normally I would think it was heavenly as I prefer gloomy dreary days sometimes, the better to cozy up in. You know the type, perfect for reading a fantastic book under a quilt, taking a nap, cleaning the house (if I'm so inclined to), cooking and baking and the like. Especially in the summer, as cool rains are a refreshing gift. But not today.
I groaned when I saw the rain pouring down outside my window. Today was supposed to be blueberry pickin' day, my absolute favorite summertime activity!
My mom is always up for blueberry adventures as well (we traipse out every stinkin' year), so we agreed to hold out and hop in the car as soon as the rain let up. Sure enough, around 9:30am, it was lookin' pretty good, so we sped off east of town and hoped for the best. We are serious about the blueberries. Real serious.
When we got there, all was right with the world. After a week of sultry nasty temperatures (at least in my opinion it is too dang early to be this hot here) we stepped out of the car into cool temperatures. Such a nice relief. My mom and I both had our rainboots on as we are seasoned berry pickers, and the boy was prepped and primed to search "only for the dark blue ones -- no purple, no red, no green". We were ready to muck through the rows of bushes in search of big fat berries.
I don't know if you've ever picked blueberries, but it is by far the most pleasant of all berry picking. No thorns, no seeds, and the ripe berries practically jump into your hands. I am what most would call a picky berry picker, searching long and hard through the bushes to find the clumps of the fattest and darkest berries. So is my mom. My boy could care less and popped about seven berries in his mouth for every one that made it to the bucket. But he was happy off on his own adventures down the rows of bushes, searching high and low for cool bugs and the "bestest bewwies". Um, let me just say, compared to us picky berry pickers, I don't think my boy could get hired on in the quality control department. Ha! But he had fun and loved it, and that's all that matters.
(Please try and refrain from jealousy of my awesome blueberry pickin' outfit or my puffier-than-all-get-out-because-of-the-humidity-awesome-hairdo or my don't-you-wish-you-had-on-sunglasses-to-shield-your-eyes-milky-white skin.)
We were the only ones there for quite a while, and it was so nice and peaceful. We each split up on one long row, and it was kind of nice to have our own little space. The only sounds were the chickens and livestock around the property, and there were two ducks a couple of bushes down from me, taking a bath in a giant puddle.
If it wasn't the most perfect Charlotte's Web/Laura Ingalls type scenario, well, I don't know what was. I half expected Wilbur to come sauntering down the path and join the ducky couple in the puddle. Now, I'm sure as far as blueberry pickin' experiences go, pickin' in Oklahoma isn't quite the same as if we were pickin' in Maine or Michigan or other states known for their blueberries, but for us Okies, it was quite idyllic.
At the end of our adventures (less than two hours worth, although I would've stayed there all day if I could've), we had plenty of berries to show for our labor. My mom and I each picked two buckets full -- about five and a half pounds each -- and the boy had almost a pound and a half in his little bucket (as well as probably that same amount in his belly!). And the best part was they were already rinsed off from the rain. Can't beat that with a stick!
This afternoon I've been drying them off and bagging them up to freeze so we'll be able to enjoy our spoils throughout the year. I'll keep some of them fresh and make some of that divine Pioneer Woman cream sauce tonight, and we'll be livin' high on the hog with our little blueberry stash. You could dip cardboard in that cream sauce, and I bet it would taste divine. And the rest of the summer I'll be daydreaming about my second favorite fruit-picking experience -- picking the Honey Crisp apples and golden raspberries come autumn in our beloved Minne-SOH-ta.
Ah, berry pickin'. Nothin' quite like it.