Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Berry Pickin'

This time of year reminds me
of my mom and I
going blackberry picking.

That was probably one of
the rare times
that I had her all to myself-
no bratty brothers
or game shows
or getting supper ready-
to interfere
with our mother/daughter bonding.

Just me and mom.
And a craving for fresh berries.

We scrounged up buckets somewhere,
dressed up in long sleeved flannel,
blue jeans,
thick socks,
and heavy shoes-
and then headed down the
dusty July road
to find the prime picking spots.

The Grotoff's owned a farm
down near the creek
and mom had permission to
cross the gate and wander
over the fields
to get to the berries.

They were so thick-
bulging over the barbed wire-
overflowing into the creek bank-
lined up against the bean fields
with berries blacker than night
and jucier than juicy.

At first they
plinked into our empty buckets
like a musical notes,
but soon became a soft mound
of blue sweetness,
enough for several pies
and some sugar and milk.

We crossed the creek
where the cool water
seeped into my shoes and socks,
causing my blue jeans to
become heavy and awkward.

But we persevered.

I don't remember what we talked about
or how long we were gone-
I only remember that
I was with Mom
and that was all that mattered.

On one occasion,
upon arriving back home,
I headed for the bathroom to clean up
and had difficulty stripping
off my wet jeans.

So- I sorta braced myself-
(kinda sat, really),
on the rim of the bathroom sink
to get a better handle
on that wet denim.

All of a sudden
the sink broke off the wall-
sending water everywhere
and pipes gushing with
more H2O than the creek!

I was mortified!
And worried about
Dad's wrath and punishment.

But once the leak was under control,
I only got a firm scolding
and I even got to enjoy a bowl of berries
before the day was over.

Dad put metal legs on the sink
for extra safety
and for years they remained
a reminder
of me and Mom...
and the blackberries of summer.