Every weekend I think that I would like to go shopping or something fun with out my boys in tow. I always feel bad about it though and so end up staying home while Man works in the yard and Buddy and Bug play in and out of the house. Bored, I dabble in paint, practice piano or read a book. I ultimately end up cleaning house because I can’t stand sitting in the disarray any longer.
This morning I thought, if I had a little girl we would go shopping today. Just the ladies! I thought it would be fun to go to an accessories store and have lunch. Then I thought, why not go anyways? I told Man that I would be leaving the boys with him, took a shower and got all dolled up to go on a quiet day of girliness!
As I applied mascara, (which I thought I could buy some new mascara while I was out) Caren called.
“What are your plans today?”
“I plan to go shopping at this cute little accessories store down the hill and maybe get lunch. It’ll be a girlie affair! Do you and your girls want to go?”
“Well…I’ll see but I was thinking of going berry picking. One girl wants to and the other doesn’t. Their fall back response is always, ‘What is Michal doing?’ So…let me see if they want to shop. I really just want to get us out of the house and outdoors!”
A few minutes later Caren called back to say they are definitely berry picking.
“Do the boys want to come?”
“Well, they might….but I’m going shopping,” making it clear that I did not plan on spending the day with the rowdy boys but was having quiet lady time.
“I’ll take them if they want to go,” she said.
The boys did want to go. As I smeared sun screen on their faces I started to think that maybe I did want to go after all. I didn’t want to miss the fun of watching them stroll through rows of strawberry plants and hunting for the perfect cherries. When Caren came to pick them up I invited myself along.
“That would make my girls very happy,” she said.
As we pulled out of the driveway I began having second thoughts. The girls were not in a good mood, clearly being dragged out on this outing, Caren was worn out from the battle of getting the girls out and my boys were loud and talking non-stop.
I could be perusing baskets of bangles and pretty headbands…
Everyone’s spirits lifted once we got to the farms. There were chickens and roosters running around near the entrance. The roosters were absolutely gorgeous with iridescent black plumed tails and copper heads. There were a few chickens like our Eric, may he RIP, with the feathery pants. Love those! I will have to get more like that. Wish we could have roosters but we soon thought otherwise with all of their loud crowing.
The owner of the farm gave us a quick lesson on how to pick the best strawberries and cherries, handed us all “baskets” and loaded us onto a tractor pulled wagon to head out to the field. The strawberries had been pretty well picked over already and so the harvest was slim. Bug was making plans for smoothies and chocolate dipping all the while he picked. After the strawberries we hitched a ride on the wagon over to the cherry trees. The cherries were pie cherries, meaning they were sour and tasted best after being cooked in sugar. Some of our party enjoyed them sour and all.
Caren could not get over how much it was like the High-Ho Cherry-O game. The cherry orchard was covered in netting. I moved on down the corridor of trees and found myself in a quiet place at last. The ripe cherries were a deep red, more maroon in color. You had to hunt a bit for those. I found them mostly high and low on the tree as the more obvious ones at eye level were already gone. There was no getting the high ones (for me anyway) and so I bent down low and sort of tucked myself up under the tree (more like a bush). I could’ve stayed there all day with the ruby baubles dangling around me. Some were marbled yellow and orange as they were not yet ripe. I often say I love to see a stereotype in action; not that this was stereotypical…more quintessential. I loved seeing the two or three cherries joined at the stems! I could live in an orchard. So beautiful and so much juicy goodness at your fingertips!
Bug was on a mission to fill his basket to the rim! Buddy’s picking was much slower as he wanted the just right ones. Eventually we were all done and while Caren and I paid for our goodies the kids checked out the goats and picked fruit logs to chew on the way home.
As we headed toward the hills we all realized how hungry we were. Nobody had eaten lunch! Caren suggested we stick with the theme of our day and eat at White Fence Farm in Lakewood. This place also had livestock that the kids could feed, including a pig as big as my couch! Seriously, he was terrifying. There are little gift shops on the grounds as well as a play park. There is even a slide inside that’s called The Pig Chute. We ordered our Down Home Cooked meal family style.
As the food was brought out Bug would reach out and snatch whatever his eye laid hands on. His manners were atrocious! This isn’t news to me but being hungry seemed to heighten his rudeness.
“Before we go out to eat again,” I said to Bug, “we will be having a lesson on etiquette.”
Bug took a huge bite of his fried chicken and with his mouth full asked, “Whath eh-i-kit?”
Caren and I busted up laughing!
The kids went to take a few slides down The Pig Chute. When they returned the resumed eating. Bug leaned back in his chair with his napkin blanketing his protruding belly and he waved the waitress over.
“Excuse me,” he said while one hand pat his belly, “My friend and I would like to order dessert please. I would like a cheese cake and uh…” he gestured with two fingers towards Caren’s daughter, “…what would you like?”
Caren and I again were in stitches at this comical scene.
“Oh my gosh!” Caren whispered. “He looks like he should be in The Soprano’s or something!” With laughing tears in our eyes Caren slouched down in her chair like Bug and waved two fingers toward her daughter. “And uh…what would you like Doll Face?”
After dinner the kids wanted one more ride on the tire swing. As we headed out to the car an elderly lady, glass of white zinfandel in hand, was being pushed in her wheel chair up to the restaurant.
Caren and I turned to each other at the exact same time with the exact same thought: That’s our goal! We plan to live a long happy life and spend our last days being wheeled about while drinking wine.
“But not with white zinfandel…” I corrected.
“Absolutely no blush.” Caren agreed.
Sometimes life is a perfect bowl of cherries.