This is always such a fun outing, and we need to do it more. GiGi led all the kids around with their buckets, showing them how to pick (and eat!) the ripe ones and leave the others to mature a little bit more. Doc and Matilda quickly gravitated to pulling weeds and grapevines from the blueberry plants.
This property in Thomasville is such a wonderful place. It isn't very large, and it doesn't have expansive views or big fields or fancy features. But it is our families, and it has a big old barn that is full of dusty cobwebs and the creaks of childhood adventure. And it has scuppernong vines, and orchard trees, and rows upon rows of blueberry bushes that were planted long ago by Doc's grandaddy.
It is a special place that just speaks of the timelessness of family, and of tradition, and of nurturing and stewarding the wonders of the land. It is someplace where you want to take your grandkids one day and then show them old pictures of their parents Jack, Caroline and Sam once doing the exact same thing.
This is a place you can teach the next generation about values, and family, and nature, to teach by doing and by example rather than having to speak explicitly of such things without some sort of concrete example. I feel the same way about the property in Spartanburg off of Kelly Rd, with the red dirt roads and the pines and the creek bottom and swamp. And the creeks and marshes on the backside of IOP and Pawleys. And the mountains and rivers and waterfalls around Saluda NC. And all the other little places of nature that we can go, and live, and learn by doing rather than by talking. Those are things you can't buy for kids, things they can't "learn" in school. Those are the parts of life that family is for, that family is supposed to teach. Hopefully the parts of life that make them better people, better citizens, better parents one day.
After about an hour of picking, all the kids ended up eating much of the blueberry yield and playing "fort" in the vans, exploring the barn and the woods, and generally just having a grand old time in the out of doors.
Gigi had the foresight and wisdom to bring a cooler full of ice and a portable shaved ice machine, so we all got to enjoy Orange Gatorade-flavored shaved ice treats at the end of the morning. At this point, Doc and I had about 6 cubic yards of weeds and grapevine pulled, and so this was a welcome and rewarding treat.
Thanks Gigi! We can't wait to do it again!