or Lessons I learned from blueberry picking
But first: the wedding was so lovely! It was the first wedding I've attended (since my own) that I have not sniffed and sobbed through. I just cry at weddings. I cry at weddings on TV. It's just in my nature, for some as-yet-unknown reason. I think I did not cry because I was so amazed at watching members of the wedding party cry as the wedding continued. The groom was rubbing his eyes as he walked down the aisle with his father (who also performed the ceremony). He continued to blink away tears as they stood there watching the procession of grandparents and mothers. And he began anew when his lovely bride came to the end of the aisle to begin the traditional walk (to the tune of the Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet (Zefferelli)...very cool!) The groom's brothers (who served as groomsmen) were also teary and the bride finally succumbed, at which point the groom started laughing. Still, it was very touching. And since everyone else was crying, I didn't need to.
The ice cream social in the garden outside the building was also very very fun. I can't remember if I've ever seen that as a reception idea but I hope that at least one of my dozens of girls thinks it's a cool idea for her wedding.
A few wedding photos:
Mr. & Mrs. James Melton
Don't they look like something out of Bride Magazine?
Immediately upon hitting the outside, my children insisted on showing their hillbilly cred by taking off their shoes:
and/or throwing them in the picturesque koi pond, complete with fountain:
There was much happy visiting.
and the fountain pond was a major attraction:
Can you believe the cuteness of that girl?
Of course, she and her siblings had naps on the 3 ½ hour drive out there:
Sadly, Friend Husband and I did not have the same experience. We had a nice chat on the way home but we were definitely ready for bed at 2 AM!
And then there's this morning.
It has become a tradition for us to go pick blueberries at a local u-pick farm every summer. Last week, I rashly promised the girls that I would take them today for the first picking. Last night I started hedging my bets.
"I'm not sure we'll be able to go pick blueberries tomorrow, girls."
This was met with great indifference by Sarah but great indignation by Rachel and Abigail. I sighed and said that we'd have to see in the morning what condition Mom was in before we made the final call. Thanks to David's early waking, we were up well in time for the 8 am start. So Mom, Rachel, and Abby trekked down to pick blueberries this morning. I mused, as I often do when conducting any sort of sustained activity, and here are a few things I thought about:
If you can manage to drag your sorry carcass out of bed, you probably will feel better in the end. I was actually cheerful about the whole thing by the end of it all.
My children do have work ethics, if they involve anything that they like. We were just talking last night about how we need to boost their work ethics and here they picked their little fingers to the bone with great amusement and no complaints. It just goes to show...
I just adore the outside world and it gives and gives. The older I get, the more I enjoy being outside and contemplative. I don't know when that started and I suspect that it gives me the musty aura of an old woman with a "potting bench" but I don't care.
People will talk about the most amazing things as though you are not there. I heard all about someone's breast cancer and mastectomy (and not one of the two women who were discussing it!), complaints about bratty children, recipes, restaurant reviews, and, on occasion, someone showing their not-nice side right out there to the whole world. I wanted to say, "Hey, I may be stuck right in the middle of this blueberry bush but I can hear every word you say...you might want to put a lid on that."
The process is as important (if not more so) than the product. At this stage of the game, I am very product-oriented. I want to have something to show to say that my time on the planet has been worthwhile. I think part of the beauty that was knitting in the beginning was that I was digging the process as much as the product. Since I'm such an overachiever (right) that is no longer the case with knitting. When we started out this morning, I was all about getting the blueberries and getting home so I could go back to bed. I started picking with that in mind and was annoyed when berries were difficult to get or dropped where I had to pick them up. That wasted time! And motions! I could feel my heart pounding and my breathing become more shallow. I'm glad that I realized what was going on, stopped, and made myself enjoy the unique position of being utterly surrounded by blueberries, sunlight, and fresh air. I approached the picking as sort of a meditation. And when the old frantic soundtrack would play, I'd say, "Go away! Why do you want to rush? To go home and do laundry? Clean house? No, grade papers. It's better here." It was marvelous.
Children are so so precious and it's worth it to stop, talk with them, and be with them.
It's not a competition. We picked for maybe an hour and got enough to get us through the week with maybe a little to freeze. The berries were wonderful (I always think they taste like flowers would taste if you ate fragrant flowers). We got in line behind some folks who had 8 (yes 8) buckets full to our 1 ½. The line was somewhat long and I didn't know that it was moving kinda speedily and the old frantic competitive part of me zapped out and said, "Let's go pick more. They have LOTS AND LOTS. We need to pick more. We're slackers." I actually had to stop and tell myself several times, "It's not a competition." Maybe those people were from far away and they can't justify coming back the next time the berries are ripe. Maybe they're locals who just don't want to come back another time. Maybe they just want to eat a whomping big batch of blueberries this week. It doesn't matter. We had enough for us and I love going back with the girls and picking more. Of course, the competitive Lori doesn't squash down easily so I had to squash and resquash but she finally got the message. It's not a competition, ok?
And now with those bits of philosophy out there cluttering up the Innernets, I'll bid you adieu whilst I seek out the comfy pillow for a wee nap. Happy weekend, everyone!