Blueberry Picking…or Tweaking Expectations

A friend buzzed off an email writing, “It’s NOW.  Time to go pick blueberries.  They’re early this year….”  Images of this city girl (moi) coming home with baskets laden with luscious bluebes germinated in my imagination. 

I love making gourmet jams, and Blueberry Cinnamon ranks among the family favorites.   So, off I drove out into the country for a before-the-crowd harvesting opportunity.

Expectations Without Foundations

Here’s what happened.  I finally found the blueberry plants.  “They’re not indicated because it’s a bit early in the season,” the U-Pick-Farm hosts had gingerly explained.  Greedy-eyed me flashed a knowing smile.  But what did I know? 

Nothing, in fact.  This was my first blueberry picking experience.  I had seen bushes in the wild but my friend sent a picture of her picking fruit from trees.  At our local French marché, blueberries are delicately sized (like the nail on my pinky).  Not so in the US—the land of bigger is better—where the fruit cover my big toenail.  What did I expect?  The larger variety, of course!  Mostly, and despite the many indications to the contrary (like the farm experts’ incredulous expression when I asked to pick blueberries), I expected ripe fruit.

Slim pickings, to say the least.

Fruitful Thinking

As I scoured the bushes for the occasional ripe fruit, I faced my choice:  lemon or lemonade?  It’s an everyday choice isn’t it…just sometimes the need to decide stands out more clearly.  Usually, it’s the kids who present me with the option (need) to laugh at myself and move on.  I’ll be thankful that today’s lesson in humility doesn’t talk back to me!

But it did get me thinking.  In this season when we celebrate the national holidays of great countries such as the U.S.A. and France it’s also good to think about what keeps success.  Definitely not vainglory.  (Read Quotable Quotes on Humility from French and American History)

“We are all worms, but I do believe I am a glowworm.”   Winston Churchill  (I can relate!)

"Humility is the only certain defense against humiliation”  Unknown  (Aah yes.  I can relate too… learning it the hard way)
Learning an Easier Way

At Home Is Fun, we provide tools…like the Humility Helper (your dream come true?!!) Seriously, a friend had been asking for ideas on generating interesting discussions around the dinner table.  With vacation around the corner, the meals could be longer and richer, if not in food then in thought.  But how?

We put together a series of quotes on humility and pride to discuss together as a family.   They’ll help spice up dinner conversations.  (Click here for tips to effectively generate discussion around these introspective quotes.) Bon Appetit for your mind and tummy.

Contagious Laughter

Back on the farm, once I started laughing at myself, many things became funny.  These fellow gardners even gave me the positive conclusion for the day: 

"Parenting is Like Gardening:  Getting Your Hands Dirty Rarely Reveals Your Best Side!"

Over dinner, between guffaws, we enjoyed just enough blueberries for a red and blue fruit salad with white cream topping to celebrate the 4th (Happy Declaratiion of Independence, USA) and the 14th  (Happy Bastille Day, France) of July. 

Make Your Blueberry Picking Outing With Kids a Success

Don't learn from me, but check out this blog entry on Nature for Kids.  Becca Renfroe prepared her children for the expedition with Berry Good Books!  Excellent ideas.

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