We have spent our summer repeating many of the things we did last summer.  While the other kids have looked forward to the activities with excitement, these experiences seem brand new to Gemma and she has taken them in with fervor.

“Mama!” she yelled from her perch in the middle of the ‘burb, “Dere’s water right dere!” when we rounded the curve at the Lake.  The next day she discovered the slide – the same slide she was fearless of last summer – and had to relearn how to do it.  She is much more fearful and tentative this summer, thanks be to God!  The same with the outhouse and hand washing station and mud puddles and the Tootsie Roll Store.  It’s been good for us all to look at each thing with her new eyes.

Such was the case the morning we went to Jessop Farms in CA to pick blueberries.  The kids felt like pros this year and they were anxious to start picking.  (All except Phil who had requested the trip but upon arrival at the farm, was so busy imagining what it would be like to have blueberry bushes at our home that he didn’t pick a single berry.  Lord love him!) Gemma loved her bucket!  Gemma loved the run back to the bushes!  Gemma loved the fruit at her level!  It didn’t matter how often I pointed out plump black berries to her, she’d say, “Yep, Mama!” and reach for the green ones.  It didn’t matter. She’d roll her eyes heavenward in ecstasy and make her yummy noises.  I plunked berries into her bucket and set her loose.  She became our own little Winnie the Pooh, humming into her her bucket with the happiest of sounds, settling into the sand and contentedly munching away.

It was as sweet as those berries.

In the end, we ended up with 6 pounds picked by an industrious Max, Tess, and Ellie (Mama Syd and I helped a little).  They lasted just a few days – how we love our blue berries! – but enough memories to last us ’til next time.