We have had more than our share of rain the past month or so but luckily 4th of July week broke the pattern and was gorgeous! It was hot and sunny with brilliantly blue skies above! The perfect kind of weather for hanging out on the Chickahominy River… a July 4th staple in our household! We were lucky enough to spend Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday lazying about the river…pier hopping, hanging out at Little Beach and Tom’s Beach and generally letting our cares float away!
Hand-in-hand with 4th of July is blackberry pickin’ time and our shoreline is riddled with bushes filled with berries and thorns. It’s a tug of war to see who gets more berries, us or the birds! Every year, they peak during this holiday and within a few days…they are gone! I surveyed the bedraggled bushes as we drove along in the golf cart heading to the pier. They were looking quite the worse for wear. However, through the brambles, I could see clutches of berries ready for pickin’. Organic berries are expensive and you can’t get much more “organic” than these and I couldn’t let the birds feast on what was left.
While Danny was readying the boat for our last cruise, I set about with my empty cup gingerly culling berries. Even though the bushes are at the end of their life cycle, the thorns were still thorny! And it seemed for every berry I could reach, I was pierced over and over by thorns.
As I was loudly exclaiming my dismay to nobody around me, I thought of our grandson Riley, who was picking berries with us last weekend. I was lamenting the thorns then and he said…“If you’re going to be like Riley, Just be like Riley and reach in there and grab a handful. You can do it Mimi!” And he thrust his hand in and came out with a few berries. Well, it was all good until he noticed a miniscule pin prick on his thumb and a dot of blood sitting atop…he let out a whimper and said…“I’m going to watch from the golf cart Mimi… but you keep picking!”
I wasn’t sure what was going to get the better of me…the blasted may flies or the thorns! I was just about to be like Riley and climb back in the golf cart! Knowing this was my last opportunity for organic berries, I soldiered on! After I had reached all I could safely reach, I called in backup and Danny finished the rest. We filled a 12-ounce cup and that will give us enough berries for breakfast and dessert! It was the perfect end to a perfect holiday! There’s more summer to come, of course, but the 4th is the turning point and we know that soon summer will come to a close. But we also know that 4th of July and the blackberries will be come ’round again…and none too soon!