When the first blueberry hit me, I assumed it had fallen from the branches. It was a good crop that year. The berries were as big as my thumb and so blue they were nearly black; all I had to do was run a hand along the branch and the berries would practically leap into my container with a rain of satisfactory little thumps that grew fainter as the container became full. The branches were heavy with berries. The ground was littered with berries. It was no wonder that one would land upon my head.
The second berry hit me squarely in the back with uncommon velocity, as if the berry hadn’t fallen off the bush, but rather been shot from it.
Or…had it been thrown?
“Filibuster,” I growled. Yes, I suspected my eldest child. The fun-loving, do anything for a practical joke child. I looked beneath the bushes for the tell-tale flip flops, one red, one blue; one Democrat, one Republican. They weren’t there.
“Squints, stop it.”
No reply. Again, I looked beneath the bushes—I couldn’t look over, of course: the bushes were just too high. Who was throwing those berries?
Another berry. Zing! It hit my ear. I whipped around. Studied the legs one row over.
Big legs. Hairy legs. Gorilla legs. Not-my-husband’s legs.
I headed down the row. Another berry.
Again I checked beneath the bush. The hairy legs were there.
Wait a minute—was this man flirting with me at the blueberry patch? I pictured him there, casually lobbing blueberries at me, trying to get my attention.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m happily married. But there’s something kind of thrilling, knowing that someone besides your spouse finds you attractive. After years and years of marriage, spouses are obligated to find one another attractive; they’re obligated to look beyond the spare tires and the bald spots; they’re obligated to ignore the reading glasses and the wrinkles and the extra chins. But this! This man with the gorilla legs willingly—willingly!—found me attractive; attractive enough to toss blueberries at me.
I resumed my picking, a private little smile on my face.
Another blueberry. A giggle.
Wait a minute.
Men with gorilla legs do not giggle. I looked beneath the bush. Two rows over. Flip flips; one blue, one red.
|Really, wouldn't you lob berries at her?|
Tee hee? Tee hee?
“Were you throwing all those berries at me?”
“And Squints, from the other side.”
Another giggle, from behind me.
Darn. The private little smile fell off my face. Plink! “Well, stop it, you two. You’re wasting them.”
That night, after all the blueberries had been washed and packed in quart bags and carefully tucked into the freezer to wait for winter, I picked up a blueberry that had been left in the sink.
And when my husband wasn’t looking?
I threw it at his back.
Labels: Blueberries, Buying Locally, Country life, Gardening, Growing up, Nature, Summer