Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Blue Success and a Surprise



On Saturday I went blueberry picking. Solo of course, being that it was 'too early' for my beloved children to roll out of bed. It was a new place about 35 min from my house. What a difference from my previous experience.

When I arrived 1/2 hour later than expected (due to a wrong turn), the place was bustling, excitement in the air. I spotted some pickers heading out the door to leave with arms full of berries, and it was then that I began to worry. Would there be enough left? My heart quickened. My pace increased. I hurried through the doors and out into the fields.
My brief fears, however, were relieved: rows and rows and rows of blueberries filled my view; all high-bush blueberry bushes laden with ripe berries. 'Now this is a proper blueberry patch', I thought and got to work.

Did you know that the ripest berries are the ones that just roll into your hands - no tugging, however slight, is needed? I learned that tid-bit of information from a veteran picker. So I rolled and rolled the berries into my buckets, wiped the sweat from my brow and overheard snippets of conversations from fellow blueberry pickers. 'Riding the Ear-ie' as my grandmother used to call it.

Well 2 1/2 hours later I emerged with blue fingers and full buckets. Next time I go, I'll bring a hat, water, a belt (to tie the buckets around my neck) and my children. We'll make short work of a lengthy process OR we'll be able to pick even more berries!

Now on to the surprise. A year ago, last spring, I had joined the One-Skein Secret Pal exchange. I received 3 packages from a secret pal and I sent 3 packages to a secret pal. When I signed up I thought it would be fun and easy. It was fun, but not necessarily easy. I sent off my 2 packages pretty much on time. The 3rd package however was very very late. 6 months late to be precise. Ugh! It was due to our major long-distance move that I hadn't anticipated when I signed up. My secret pal however, was very understanding.

Well, yesterday was filled with piano lessons, errands, a 3rd visit from the oven man to fix our less-than-a-year-old oven. It was rainy and overcast. So when I found a surprise package on my stoop yesterday it was like a sunny spot in a rather boring day.

She sent me 2 handmade flower washcloths (see above), a book on Oregon, Marionberry jam, salmon jerky, a grill kit with wooden planks and spices, and a very interesting rock. Oregon's state rock, but not really a rock. More like a geode or nodule. A Thunderegg! Very appropriate since I've had an interest in rocks and minerals since I was a child.

So a big thank you to Sherry, my secret pal!

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