Monday, July 24, 2006
I may sit in Silicon Valley traffic every morning, fight for street parking in front of my house, dine at contemporary restaurants, shop at tony outdoor malls and exist as a regularly pedicured psuedo-suburban dweller - but in my heart I'm pure country.
Not country like spurs and cowboy hats, but country like tree frogs and endless grassy fields.
This weekend, I got in touch with my inner country the best way I know how. Picking blackberries on my parents' property in lovely and HOT Sonoma County.
Honestly, I thought I'd successfully (and sadly) planned myself out of blackberry picking this summer. Hubby and I got into 2006 just in time to watch it book up with a myriad of trips, parties, projects, outings and other miscellaneous time sucking activities. Not that we don't love them all, but we also love free days to do whatever springs to mind on a Saturday morning - and and occurance of the latter has gotten frighteningly rare.
So, a few weeks back when it looked like hubby would be working with my dad on our roof and my mom would be wandering their property on her own, I realized this might be my one and only chance to get up there, don my straw hat and spend some QT with mom and the blackberry hedge. In retrospect, I should have photographed this behemoth for your very eyes, but I forgot. Call it a minor case of heatstroke. Take my word for it, though, these bushes/hedges/prickly hillsides are nothing to sniff at. We "trim" them with a chainsaw.
Despite the stiffling heat and widespread lack of A/C (my parents live in blessed hippie country where A/C is a laughable household accessory), we cheerfully sprayed ourselves with sunscreen, grabbed our favorite plastic buckets (old Cool Whip containers) and made for the berries.
While my fingers (and lips) purpled and I sweated clear through my entire "play" outfit, mom and I chatted it up and managed to pick 10 whole pounds of blackberries.
It was glorious. Gravel and hay crunching under my feet, grass and trees rustling around in the periphery, lizards and birds skittering amongst the underbrush, sweet berry juice staining my face - it really does not get much better than this.
Add to that a trip to pottery heaven and a nice little visit with our friend, Wayne, who owns, runs, cares for and creates this particular slice of heaven with his lovely wife Karen AND a trip to see my fantastically sassy grandma made for a very happy (while also very toasty) Finny.
Best compliment alert! Wayne told me, with a little knowing smile in his eyes, that I still am the little country girl he remembers (our families have been friends for a long time), since not a lot of Silicon Valley girls would leave the A/C of Santana Row for a hot dusty field and risk getting blackberry juice under their nails.
And you know what? He's right. I drove home that night with blackberry juice under my fingernails and giant smile on my face.