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14 August 2009

Soggy Island

Berry pickin takes on a whole new meaning when lil kids are involved. We took Warren’s family, who by the way are in town visiting, down to Sauvie Island for an afternoon of berry pickin. Upon arrival we immediately hit the farmer’s store, full of freshly picked and rinsed produce from the grounds surrounding the store front. Admiring the bounty before us, we resisted and instead picked up our berry baskets and headed out towards the endless berry patches. But we detoured first to the local pig, obviously being fattened up for a winter’s worth of bacon breakfasts. After the excitement of Tilla the Ton wore off, we soon encountered a chicken and her baby chicks. We tried to get pictures as the kids eagerly ran up towards them, making them cluck and run for cover.

Just as we approached the berry patches, we were stalled yet again for sunscreen. Time to slather the kids up in SPF 30. But the protection devices didn’t stop there. The kids each put on a sunhat and sunglasses and then were deemed safe to begin picking. Well, ok, there was a photo session to capture their berry picking armor. It can be dangerous out there with those berry pickin fools from the city.

Many of the bushes were picked clean or dried up and everyone wandered farther away to try to find treasure. I stayed behind because I knew there were berries, I just had to look carefully. A bush that appeared to be bare was actually loaded with plump blueberries, subtly hidden in the innermost parts of the bush where no human hands had ventured. Soon I had filled up three pints and I couldn’t stop. Every time I tried to walk away, I saw another berry calling my name. The kids had wandered into a tire swing and were happily sailing through the air with intense smiles on their faces. Berry picking was all about finding a hidden playground for them.

Eventually we made our way back to the farm store and loaded our baskets with crème sodas, fresh ears of corn, and berries. The kids proudly declared that ‘Soggy Island’ was a success. We laughed to ourselves as we loaded everything into our cars and headed back home – soggy we were from hours in the hot sun chasing those kids.

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