I felt that ol’ itch yesterday. The one that urges me on to a big reconnect with my boys, and I quickly skimmed my bookmarks folder titled, “Fun Things To Do,” and clicked on the Berry Patch Farms link.
I threw a big pot of carnitas together in the new pressure cooker, slipped shoes on the smallest fry’s muy dirty feet, threw some snacks in a couple of plastic bowls and off we went, iPhone map in hand, literally, to find the farm.
A mere thirty-minute adventure ride to our east and we arrived.
A couple of years ago we came here around the same time in the season, but we were one team in a sea of a thousand. Today, however, we were the only ones there.
As in, the only car in the parking area and the only ones there.
It was the happiest moment I’ve had in a while, being free to hurdle a pig or two and walk across dirt and weeds and grass and into this, hand in hand with my boys.
The Rev was both terrified of and enamored with those chickens. If they scurried and flapped, he yelped a little a grabbed my hand extra tight. But he always walked away proclaiming, “I yuv chickens.”
Their heavily feathered feet made them look like the old European ads where the skinny models wore big, furry boots. What a crack up.
After a quick reacquaint with the farm’s layout and the berry patches, the boys started picking the ripest, juiciest, warmest raspberries of the season.
They also popped a few in their mouths here and there.
There’s something almost magical about eating these berries straight off the bush.
Even this guy thought so.
The ‘Fish had been introduced to a hard lesson at school today: group consequences. Several someones in class hadn’t behaved very well and it seems that his class lost their recess time for tomorrow, and you would have thought the sky had fallen into a million pieces. After about 15 minutes in the raspberry patch though, he turned around and said that this little adventure was just what he had needed.
Two thumbs up and a “better than I ever expected!”
Kinda made my heart swell to watch him pull himself out of a case of the pouts and into some awesomeness.
And yep, the little man is sporting his first black eye. It’s a doozy of a shiner courtesy of a crash with some playground equipment the other day. He keeps telling everyone, strangers included, that his eye is blue. He seems a little proud of climbing this latest rung on the ladder to manliness.
We scurried back into the barn to leave our raspberries and beg for just a few more minutes to run to the next acre for some strawberries. Farmer Jane obliged, but gave us a stern warning that she absolutely, positively closed at 6 p.m.
It was 5:40 p.m.
The ‘Fish held the container box and I slung The Rev on a hip while we ran for it.
The hunt was harder. Those strawberries are good hiders; especially the really ripe ones.
We gathered up almost a container full and ran like rabbits back to the barn with five minutes to spare.
Inside that barn is a little store meant for browsing, though we pledged a return trip to do it justice.
We gathered our loot, steered clear of the chickens, and piled back into the car a little more happy, dirty, and sticky.
The boys asked if the box of berries could please sit on the seat between them in the back, to which I smiled and said yes. And sure enough, after listening to lots of, “delithiouth” and “mmmmmm” and “it’s an explosion in my mouth like I’m getting fancy with the spices,” I also heard an “aaaww, we ate all the strawberries” and “can we go back to that farm tomorrow?”
A slight case of the permagrins pour moi.
We timed it right on the way home; it was the golden hour, indeed. In fact, it warranted a couple of pull-overs for this.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, but do we live like kings.
Hallelujah. And let freedom ring, baby.