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January 2013

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Eternally Summer

I walked out past the drive today to see if any of the blackberries on our closest bush had ever ripened. With all the rain, I knew we'd have berries all over the bushes when we got back from Las Vegas - and we did. But they were all red, because we hadn't had enough days of hot sun for the berries to ripen. We've had a few sunny days in a row, so I was eager to see if there were even enough dark, juicy berries to pick and eat out of hand - much less enough to pick and actually tote up to the house for a cobbler or something.

What ripe berries there are look and taste amazing, but I still don't think there enough to justify the full "chigger spray/sunblock/longsleevesandpants/boots" regalia required for me to get near blackberry bushes for any length of time. I did grab a few as I circled the bush, and as I ate the first berry that was almost overripe and incredibly warm, I was overwhelmed by the most lovely memory:

The only truly happy moments in my childhood involving Mommo, my grandmother ,were the times she and my Daddo took me blackberry-pickin' in the summers. When we bought the pecan groves out here (where we now live in the house we finished two years ago), I was thrilled to see there were four or five patches of blackberry bushes as big as my suburban backyard.

That first summer we started construction, I'd been listening to Keith Urban's "Golden Road" almost obsessively.  Singing along to "Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me" at the top of my lungs in a pickup on a gravel road had become one of my favorite things - giddy is the perfect word to describe that rare feeling of "wow, everything is   r i g h t   in my world at this moment!" - all the while amusing other drivers, I'm sure.  I came out here alone one day to check on the subs, then parked the pickup next to one of the biggest bushes.  I spent about an hour standing in the back end of the pickup, picking blackberries and listening to Keith Urban blare out the windows. I was hot, sweaty, getting itchy, and happier than I could remember being in a very long time.

Now:   imagine my joy when I discovered today that the simple sensory cues of standing in the hot sun, eating a warm, ripe blackberry off the bush while absently scratching my picking hand immediately infused my entire being with that same giddy happiness, "Somebody Like You" playing in the background. 

I pray I can count on recreating that wonderful feeling at least once, every summer, for the rest of my life.


I'm so glad. All this gloomy summer weather has started to wear on me, and it was so nice being out in the sun, and having that "summery" feeling!