Monday, July 06, 2015

Into The Woods

Raspberries, as you may know, are a super expensive fruit that we have never really had the budget to buy.  Oh, it's not as though we don't HAVE 5 dollars to spend on a teeny-weeny amount of berries, but by the time we get through dividing them among all the mouths here, we never feel as if we've gotten our money's worth.  So generally we leave them for those who can afford the finer things in life.

Rich folk fruit

BUT we have neighbors who happen to own a piece of undeveloped land that is covered in raspberry bushes. COVERED.  So today, Rachel and Susie and I decided to accompany our neighbor on the one-hour trip west to pick raspberries.  Because you can't beat free, right?

Obviously, where we were going was not the well manicured, pick-your-own orchards that we are used to, with their gift shops and playgrounds and orderly fields. We were headed for the woods, where there are bugs, Lord help us, and a definite lack of lavatories.  So we girded ourselves in long-sleeved shirts and long pants, socks and boots, and brought along a bottle of OFF, in a pathetic attempt to beat Mother Nature.  Larry was shaking his head as we departed and saying, "I don't have a good feeling about this."

I think he means I'm not the outdoorsy type. Or maybe he didn't like the jeans-tucked-into-the-socks look.  I don't know.

It turned out that, due to the surfeit of rain we've had lately, the road (if you can use that term to describe 2 mud ruts with a bank of grass between them) leading up to the raspberry groves was well nigh impassable - and believe me, we tried, with my neighbor pushing the minivan from behind while the girls cowered in the back seat and I steered and prayed that I wouldn't kill anyone.  We ended up having to hike over 1/4 mile up the hill, in the mud, stinking of DEET and dying of the heat in our bug-proof regalia.

No, I don't know how I got the girls to do this, either.  Maybe they really like raspberries.  Maybe they were just in shock.  Or maybe they thought we had been taken hostage by our formerly friendly neighbor and there was no way out.

So many of these...SO MANY
Once there, we got to work, impaling ourselves on thorns and dodging the most godawful-looking spiders the entire time.  When, at last, we made our way back to the car with our (really impressive) haul, we collapsed in the seats with a relief comparable to what Captain Phillips must have felt when his rescuers hauled him aboard that Navy destroyer.  After we checked each other for (BLOOD-SUCKING, LYME-INFESTED) ticks, the girls reached for the snacks I had so lovingly packed for them, hours ago and far away in the suburbs, when raspberry picking still seemed like a good idea.

"You know what these are?" Rachel said, suddenly coming to life and waving a snack-sized bag of Veggie Straws in my face. "These are CIVILIZATION."

That's my girl, all right...

[Raspberry image: Wikipedia]


  1. And now we know why those berries are so expensive!

  2. The spiders? Total deal breaker for me. You are more bad ass than you let on!

  3. Spiders and thorns are hazards when picking berries. For sure. We have them on our property. Last time I picked them, my face went right through a spider web. The spider who built it was a mere 6 inches from my nose, giving me a look that said something like, "Dude. Not cool. I must now bite your face."
    I'm glad you made it back alive.

  4. Hanging out with ticks is my deal-breaker. But I do love raspberries, and I suspect you were in my old neck of the woods (western LoCo).

  5. AnonymousJuly 16, 2015

    Oh, that is FUNNY!
    You could come pick our patch any old time--they are rich people food, yes, but also poor people food because they're so easy to raise. Sounds like a real adventure!