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A Fourth of Firsts: Part I

Berry PickingView the Photo Gallery

This past weekend, in addition to being a time of fireworks, hamburgers, and white bearded folks in red, white and blue striped outfits stumbling about on stilts tossing Tootsie rolls at unsuspecting children, also proved to be a jam-packed weekend of fun and firsts for us and our dear Justine.  Too many notable events occurred, in fact, to cover in a single post without overloading you, the reader, with more adorable stories and pictures than I think you can handle, so we’ll attack this in a few parts.

A rare Friday off of work and some excellent seasonal timing afforded us the opportunity to pay for the experience that millions of illegal migrant workers are compensated for every year: berry picking.  We met some friends at a local farm and set about the surprisingly tedious task of removing individual berries from the shrubs, bushes and trees that they were stapled too.  First up was strawberries, which were probably just a bit past their prime, judging by the fact that much of the crop appeared to be in a liquid state.  After we snagged what few edible strawberries remained, we moved onto cherries, which I was surprised to learn grow on trees, and not directly in the jars as I would’ve guessed. Unfortunately cherries were also at the end of their season as well, and rather than liquefy many of them seemed to instead morph into cherry nonpareils – a cherry with little balls of “something” growing all around it.  “Something” that sadly does NOT taste like nonpareils.  Finally we headed to raspberries, which were mercifully just starting, and thus, quite literally, ripe for the picking.

We took turns with Justine in our Keltie backpack contraption, which is a cross between a backpack and a clothes hamper, but with a sturdy harness in between to securely dangle our daughter inside.  This is the first I had seen her in it and she loves it, probably because, unlike the Bjorn, she’s not dodging pitches as a chest protector when I catch softball games.  The only downside, of course, is that the person wearing the contraption doesn’t really know what she is up to back there, and can only guess by the various kicks, jabs, and odd sensations that occur during use.  One such sensation that hit me was a distinct wet feeling, which to my horror I believed was perhaps a leaking diaper.  Instead, my darling daughter decided to crush several raspberries between me and the Keltie, which, upon removal, gave the distinct impression that I had taken a shotgun to the back.  She thought it was funny, at least.

Berry picking proved to be a significantly fun activity, but we weren’t particularly efficient at it, at least that is what the snickers at the weighing counter seemed to suggest.  Of course they could’ve been amused by the 8 inch red blotch that covered the top of my back, or perhaps the site of a jolly little infant with a face covered in crushed berries and an adorable smile to go along with it.

And our weekend was just beginning.

- MWF -

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  • http://surprisedmom.blogspot.com/ SurprisedMom

    You have an adorable daughter. I loved the photo of berry juice on her face. The crushed rasberries on your shirt, um, that was too funny. Probably because I wasn't wearing the shirt. I'm looking forward to reading about the rest of your family's weekend!
    I looked at the photos and found out your daughter is very friendly. She does like to wave, doesn't she.

  • http://www.disfordad.com/ D is for Dad

    Do they weigh you guys before you start picking and charge for the difference? Upon seeing Justine's face they may rethink that policy. :) Berry picking is a blast!

  • http://mytwodaddies.blogspot.com/ Paul(mytwodaddies)

    I've done this..It is fun. I would imagine when my son is old enough, this would be a fun event for the family.

  • http://twitter.com/joelsharpton Joel Sharpton

    Great photo, great post!

    My wife is a big fan of berry picking, but I think that's mostly because you can eat all you want while you're picking. I've personally never been, but once the boys get a bit older (I'm thinking another year should do) we'll give it a go.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.ramblingsandrunons.blogspot.com/ Jason

    We have a berry patch in our backyard and this is the first year we've been able to pick a substantial amount. We go out everyday and the boys love it! I'm glad you guys had fun with your experience!

  • mwfrantz

    Thanks! Yes, my daughter has morphed recently into an avid waver/pointer and happily greets everyone and everything from other folks to fenceposts. It's pretty adorable.

  • mwfrantz

    That is actually a brilliant idea – Justine definitely ate enough berries to register, and I had enough ground into my clothes that I probably would've too…

  • http://twitter.com/joelsharpton Joel Sharpton

    Great photo, great post!

    My wife is a big fan of berry picking, but I think that's mostly because you can eat all you want while you're picking. I've personally never been, but once the boys get a bit older (I'm thinking another year should do) we'll give it a go.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.ramblingsandrunons.blogspot.com/ Jason

    We have a berry patch in our backyard and this is the first year we've been able to pick a substantial amount. We go out everyday and the boys love it! I'm glad you guys had fun with your experience!

  • http://heirapparent.frantzylvania.com mwfrantz

    Thanks! Yes, my daughter has morphed recently into an avid waver/pointer and happily greets everyone and everything from other folks to fenceposts. It's pretty adorable.

  • http://heirapparent.frantzylvania.com mwfrantz

    That is actually a brilliant idea – Justine definitely ate enough berries to register, and I had enough ground into my clothes that I probably would've too…