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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Just pickin' blackberries

Posted Wednesday, January 18, 2012, at 6:18 PM

It's the dead of winter an I'm thinkin' about pickin' blackberries.

I've joined a family group that's growing and growing on a social networking site where many of my cousins and their kids and their cousins and so on have been talking and sharing memories.

The other day my cousin's son Justin brought up how his grandmother, my Aunt Evelyn, had made him and his brothers pick blackberries in the sweltering July heat on their northern Missouri farm, and I started thinking more and more about those blackberries, of their sweet, juicy flavor bursting in my mouth,and of all the life lessons we learned in those fields.

I really miss those blackberry brambles and the time spent in them. Not the hot, sweating, what-seemed-like-forever-to-fill-your-bucket navigating of the thorny brambles. There were times when it seemed like the sticky tendrils were reaching for my bare, most likely sunburned arms, lashing out spitefully at the skin of the city girl -- that's one of the many ways cousins referred to me then. And the blackberry juice would get on your clothes no matter what, which the city girl didn't like so much, either.

But I miss the talking. I miss the anticipation of the wonderful blackberry cobbler that would come later. I miss the picking on cousins and them picking back. I miss the life lessons shared about the fruits of one's labor and the sweet appreciation of nature's bounty. And the teamwork. (That part didn't really sink in until later, but we were learning it, just the same)

All the while we thought we were just pickin' blackberries. But it was so much more. Quite a few of my cousins apparently feel the same way about it.

Years later I took my own children to the country to pick blackberries. All the while, they thought they were just pickin' blackberries, too.

And when my granddaughter's big enough, I think I'll take her out to the country, too -- just pickin' blackberries.

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Lynn Wade
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Exploring the obvious and the not so obvious in search of the oh, so elusive "something to do' that's all around us.
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