My wife was recently between jobs and I was so happy she could be home full time with me for the first time in quite a spell. But all good things come to an end and she started finding me all sorts of jobs to keep me busy. I had to help wash all the windows, clean out all the closets, scrub all the baseboards, etc., etc., ad nauseum. She was working me to death. I was trying to figure a way out of this dilemma, like an extended stay at the fishing club, when the phone rang and a kinsman told me of a blueberry field and that the owners said “come and help yourself.”
“Who was that?” my wife asked as I hung up the phone.
“Aw, that was Uncle Three Sheets telling me about a blueberry patch where we can pick all we want, but I ain’t interested in that.”
My objections to berry picking were to no avail and I was tasked with finding a bucket for myself and one for the Doctor and off we went, me grumbling but she just as happy as a dead pig in the sunshine; just the two of us, berry picking.
“It’ll be like we were like kids again, Geech, and like my Momma always said. ‘You got the same shoes to be happy in. So suck it up.”
Needless to say, the berries were not as plentiful as the caller allowed, in fact they were nonexistent in the field he had described, but just down the road aways, a machine was picking in another field and there is where I headed. I never saw a blueberry picker before, and as I watched I noticed all the good berries falling on the ground. These were the ripe ones, the ones you want for cooking, so we just started gathering them off the ground and soon had a bucket full and we headed home. Just as we got to our driveway, my wife noticed the blackberries along the edge of the pasture and said we needed some of those, also.
I started whining and said, “There is a well-managed thornless blackberry field just down the road and we can go there and get all we want in nothing flat and we won’t have to commit hara-kiri.”
I was wrong! The blackberry field’s owner would not allow us to pick our own but would sell us all we wanted, culls, you understand, for a measly 11 dollars a gallon. The high priced ones were to be sold to unsuspecting city dwellers all along the east coast.
Back at our free, but saber toothed blackberry patch, the Doctor was picking away, as was I, but it is hard to pick berries and watch for rattlesnakes at the same time. Gopher holes were everywhere and I know the snakes are not in the holes this time of year; they are somewhere else, like under my feet. I was a nervous wreck, watching for snakes and trying to stop the bleeding from a hundred thorn scratches and God only knows how many dog fly bites at the same time.
The berries were sweet as sugar but very small, and my bucket was not filling up too fast as all the while the dog flies feasted on my tender flesh. My Lord, I have never seen dog flies so bad. Even the animals were in torment.
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