Saturday, June 11, 2011

Summer's Bounty and a Dog Story

The delightful days of summer are officially here and we are enjoying them to the fullest.

The oldest 2 have been out of school one week and so far we have stayed very busy.

Thursday morning we packed up early (for summer) and headed out to a "you pick" blueberry farm about 45 minutes from our house.

We go every summer.

The kids begin asking when it's time to go blueberry picking as soon as there is even a hint of warmth in the air.

Sometimes, that can even be in the dead of winter around here.
The local patch we go to is so clean and well maintained and it's one of the highlights of our summer.
Nater Mater's first picking experience happened when he was about 9 months old. I took an old quilt to spread out between the rows and let him sit on it and play while we picked. He still wasn't crawling yet, so I wasn't too worried about him crawling off into the rows like his next oldest brother had done and scared me half to death with 2 summers before.
A collie dog came up to where I sat him on his blanket and curled up next to him much to Nater Mater's delight. He pulled on the dog's hair trying to stuff fist fulls into his little mouth before I could grab him. I didn't know the dog and even though he seemed nice, I had horror images of a faceless child and rushing to the hospital. (my older brother nearly lost an eye to a dog when he was less than 2 years old).
When I scooped Nater Mater up the dog jumped up on me and whined pulling at Nate's shorts. I was horrified thinking he was attacking us and pushed it away, pulling the other kids behind me. The dog continued to whine and follow closely behind me and Nater nipping at his shorts whenever it got the chance.
Finally, I figured out the dog thought I was kidnapping my own child! It hadn't seen me be the one to put him on the quilt and was trying to keep me from taking off with him.
Of course by now Nater Mater was screaming in terror at a large dog trying to pull him out of my arms.
I ended up going back to the quilt and sitting down and (yes, in public) nursing a then-frantic-baby just to calm him down. It was a hot morning and the car would have been over a 100 degrees and I wasn't about to drag the other 3 into it to sit with me while I nursed.
The dog licked my face and whined and then seemed to accept that I was the mother of this pudgy little guy who had tried to eat it's fur. It promptly laid back down on the quilt next to us and looked as if were sleeping.
Nater calmed down; finished nursing and I sat him back again next to this modern day "Lassie" who promptly licked Nater all over his face much to my disgust and Nater's delight.
Anyway, I will never forget that blueberry picking experience.

Needless to say, we enjoy the results of our hard work.
I bag and freeze and, if I am careful, enjoy fresh blueberries until around Valentine's Day of the next year.

Happy Summer Everyone!


Wendy said...

looks. so. delicious!!!!
I picked a few from my own plants the other day, but there just won't be many with two plants. ;) I plan to add more every year.
Your blueberry pickin' memory is awesome. I also would have been frightened, but -wow- what a dog! I'm surprised that you didn't buy the pup to serve as a guardian! :)

Soaring High said...

We are looking for a "Lassie" dog. ; )
I want to plant blueberries where we live. My kids love picking them so much.

Joy Lindeen said...

Yummy!! Sounds great!
Dogs are so amazing! When our house was broken into a few years ago our little poodle woke me up and alerted me. I was so thankful.

Wendy said...

You're gonna have to tell me where y'all go. My husband and daughters LOVE blueberries!

Soaring High said...

We go to Stay N' Step blueberry farm in Tontitown Wendy. There used to be one right down the toad from us that I took the kids to when they were little, but the lady stopped letting kids come even though we payed for the green ones we picked.
Joy, I really am happy that you like the blog. I love you cousin and miss you!!