I was going to tell you all about my lovely trip to see my parents in Kentucky. The lovely food we ate, the bike ride across the river, but y’all, as wonderful as that story is, instead I need to tell you about what happened a couple of weeks later when we went to pick blackberries. I need to vent.
I go to church with a lady whose parents own a blackberry farm near Lodi. These berries are organic, they are easy to pick, and there are no thorns on the species of bushes they have. It’s become a family tradition to go up at the end of every summer and pick $50-$60 (Or $70 or $80) worth of berries.
Despite being almost 8 months pregnant and really feeling it, I didn’t want to miss out on the juiciest sweetest berries around. I packed up the kids, and made the 40 minute drive.
The Buchanan’s, who own the farm, are sweet and friendly. They set us up with a tray, and pointed out the best spot, and Mr. Buchanan always takes a minute to crouch down to the kids level and show them how to pick the berries and how to tell if they are ready, encouraging them to eat a few. Excitement set in and the kids went running down the row of bushes, picking and eating as they went. I followed with my camera hoping to capture a few good pictures.
Not 10 minutes after we get started, Quinten starts screaming, and I already know he’s hurt. Accidents follow him where ever he goes. He shows me the little red pin prick on his hand and his ear and is screaming “A bee! A bee! I got stung!” My husband must have known what was going to happen, because he had advised me to take some benadryl and antibiotic cream along, just in case. We walked back to the car, I administered what Quinten thought was life saving first aide, and asked “Are you ready to go home.”
“NO!” He proclaimed. “I want to pick berries.” Always a tough kid. And I was glad, I didn’t want to have driven 40 minutes to pick berries for 10. I left my bag and camera in the car, and we went back to our row and proceeded to pick. I gave up the notion that we were going to get good pictures.
Noon was approaching, and the air was getting sticky and hot. My kids are thick blooded, so Everett parked himself in what little shade a blackberry bush could provide in the late morning, and Genevieve clinger to my leg crying she wanted me to hold her. We hardly had any berries, and I was determined that if Quinten could carry on after a bee sting, we were going to pick berries until our tray was full. I removed Genevieve’s shirt, giving her some relief from the heat, and carried on. Everett starts telling me he needs to go #2, and I’m becoming impatient, so I snap to just hold it for a minute.
The final straw came when Quinten came up to me and said “Mom, I have blood.” And sure enough, there he stood with a nose gushing out blood. Thanks to my genetics I passed on to him, he gets nose bleeds on occasion. Hopefully he’ll grow out of it like I did. I had nothing to stop the flow, except for Genevieves shirt. So I gave it to him and told him to hold it to his nose and we tracked back to the car, Everett complaining that he’s hot and has a bug bite (mosquito) on his foot and has to poo, Genevieve crying she wants me to hold her while pulling at my shorts and I’m trying to hobble the tray of berries back to base, and Quinten looking like he just came out of a war zone.
I turned on the car, took Everett to the port-a-pot (“Oh, it’s just pee mom”) loaded up the kids, and gave each of them a water bottle, and a fruit snack. Peace and calm were restored as their body temperatures dropped, and I promised them chicken nuggets and french fries for lunch.
I think I’m a glutton for punishment, because I’m already planning on going back next year, with 4 kids…someone call me a doctor, cause I’m obviously out of my mind.