Berries and Wine

Blackberries are one of my favorite things.  No, not the handheld, electronic version, the fruit.  On one of our daily walks we stumbled upon wild blackberries.  I was surprised at the amount of fruit on the wild bushes.  The more I looked the more I discovered that they are everywhere.  The bushes like to grow along the creek in  our neighborhood.  The more we walked the more we found.  I was determined to go and pick some for myself.  The kids love to pick strawberries, apples and peaches so I was sure they would enjoy this.  The fact that the berries were not in nice neat rows and were along a creek only added to the adventure. 
The kids and I walked down to the creek and found several bushes.  I explained what we were looking for and that we only needed the black ones not the red ones.  I handed out their cartons and away we went. At first the enthusiasm was abundant.  Then a few complaints came and went.  Blackberries have thorns and after a few pokes and a little blood, Jack was done.  Mark and Emma kept on picking.   Then Emma was bitten by a fire ant and then she was done.  Mark and I picked a few more minutes until he was distracted by the search for more bushes and off he went to follow the creek. I continued to pick berries determined to get enough to make a blackberry recipe I had found.  While I picked I listened to the buzz of several dragonflies,  the gurgle of the creek and the whining of my children.  Jack was hot, not to mention bleeding from a cut on his ankle.  Emma was whining because, "no one asked her if she wanted to pick the stupid berries."   I tried to over look the whining after all I was the one who forced them out into the creek.  I am so mean. 

As a parent I try to add variety to our summer vacations.  I truly thought that this would be fun, and for me it was.  I have to admit I had a beautiful image of my kids and I laughing, joking and discusing the wonders of picking wild blackberries.  As it turns out I once again exceeded my own expectations.  It appears they will someday need therapy for the blackberry picking mom made them do!  Eventually, I decided to go and hot, tired and a little bloody we returned home with just over 4 cups of wild blackberries!

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