This year we decided to take Peyton and Ella strawberry picking. I put it on the To Do in Iowa Before We Move to California list. So that meant if we didn't pull it off I would have a void in my heart that can only be understood by hard-core list makers. DON'T MESS WITH THE LIST! It's how we are. It's what we do.
Of course they have berry picking elsewhere, like in California, and I'm sure it's just as fantastic, but I wanted to do it in Iowa. Because I wanted to do it in Iowa. Because it's Iowa. But the weather in Iowa is so wacky that it stormed consistently from 8 am - 12 pm almost every single day. Those hours, of course, are the very hours that you are allowed to pick berries at the Berry Patch.
We had only few precious days left to cross everything off Darcy's Crazy-Maker List, so James and I finally decided: TOMORROW IS THE DAY WE PICK STRAWBERRIES! RAIN OR SHINE!
The next morning: It stormed. And we didn't back down. Because we're awesome.
We drove up to The Berry Patch. The lady in charge handed us a couple of empty ice cream buckets for the kids:
And pointed us in the direction of the strawberries and blueberries with a warning, "If it starts to thunder, GET IN YOUR CAR!"
And off we went to find the strawberries:
And the blueberries:
And it poured.
But it was hot, so we braved it. In our shorts and rain jackets:
One for the bucket:
One for me:
One for the bucket:
One for me:
And as we drove back to the front to look for cherries, I heard a faint but steady buzzing sound. And then I saw (from the safety of the car with rolled up windows) what I can only assume are my worst nightmare. Bee hives. Just writing that makes me shudder.
When I see a bee in real life, and my kids are with me, I do the whole, "Bees only bother you if you bother them," nonsense that parents tell their children. So, basically, I lie. Because I know. And while I'm winning my own personal Best Actress Award on the outside, inside I'm slowly dying of terror. Same with wasps and hornets and every mean, horrible bug out there in the world. Because they are ALL after me. Because they want to sting me and bite me and make me die a slow, horrible death.
James zoomed in to take this picture so you could see them better:
I took this picture so you could see how TERRIFYINGLY CLOSE I was to them:
A mere moment away from swarms of Darcy-stinging terror. I KNOW!
Then we drove over to the cherries. Here's the deal with the cherry trees. They are covered with gazillions of wasps. Did you know that? It's true.
I walked in bravely, tasted a cherry just to say I did, and decided no matter how sweet it was (and it wasn't), I wouldn't be risking my life by picking any more.
On our way out, James bought me one of the metal picking trays. We're going to polish it up a little and maybe paint the wood handle white. Aren't they cute?
And what did we do with all our strawberries? We made fresh strawberry shakes! Ella was in charge of deciding how many strawberries went into the blender. So you know that means that every last strawberry got shake-ified.
Delicious! Totally worth defying death.