On Monday I picked blueberries. Tuesday it was blackberries.

There are so many things I love about summer, but picking berries is one of my favorites.

I love that I can just walk down my driveway and get a bowl full of blackberries for ice cream each night for the first couple of weeks in July, and some years there’s enough for a cobbler. This might be one of those years. The blackberries out there are plentiful as well as big and juicy, a perfect combination. I’m not sure why, maybe rain came at the right time, or the weather was the right temperature at bloom time. Whatever it was, I am thankful.

I also love blueberries, and while they don’t grow wild around my house, I’m lucky enough to live near a good number of pick-your-own farms. This year I went to Holcomb’s in Jonesville for the first time. It turned out to be a great farm, very easy to get to, and everything is done by the honor system, so the hours are great!

Kids or No Kids?

Picking with kids is great. I usually drag mine out with me at least a couple of times a year, once foraging for blackberries and then again for our annual trip to a blueberry farm. I can easily tune out their complaining that it’s too hot, there are too many bugs, and we’re taking too long because I know that they’re making memories that will last a lifetime. And no matter how much they complain, I know they love getting to eat warm, juicy berries straight from the bush.

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Carter was quite the trouper at the blueberry farm. Caroline missed out on blueberry picking this year because she was at camp. But I drug them both out to pick blackberries last week, so she didn’t miss everything!

But I love picking without the kids too. Being outside, by myself, I get lost in the sounds of summer. Birds rustling in nearby bushes, Japanese beetles angrily buzzing around after being jostled, and even the hum of a mosquito now and then. It’s one of those times when you get lost in the work itself, which is such a fulfilling experience.

Monday at the blueberry farm was perfect. The bright hot sun of July made the sky seem bluer and the grass a little greener, and I got the opportunity to pick both with kids and without, since Carter came with me but left with my mom. One by one the blueberries filled up my bucket, first making a hollow sound as they hit the empty plastic, but eventually cushioning each other quietly as the container slowly filled up.

I’ve been picking berries in some form or fashion for as long as I can remember. As a kid I just thought it was neat that I could find food out in the woods near our house, but as an adult I eagerly anticipate those few mornings out in the midst of the berry bushes. In the middle of this hectic life of working and raising kids, it’s a way of making me slow down and savor the moment. And maybe a berry or two along the way.

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