Monday, July 24, 2006

My Inner Country

I may sit in Silicon Valley traffic every morning, fight for street parking in front of my house, dine at contemporary restaurants, shop at tony outdoor malls and exist as a regularly pedicured psuedo-suburban dweller - but in my heart I'm pure country.

Not country like spurs and cowboy hats, but country like tree frogs and endless grassy fields.

This weekend, I got in touch with my inner country the best way I know how. Picking blackberries on my parents' property in lovely and HOT Sonoma County.

Honestly, I thought I'd successfully (and sadly) planned myself out of blackberry picking this summer. Hubby and I got into 2006 just in time to watch it book up with a myriad of trips, parties, projects, outings and other miscellaneous time sucking activities. Not that we don't love them all, but we also love free days to do whatever springs to mind on a Saturday morning - and and occurance of the latter has gotten frighteningly rare.

So, a few weeks back when it looked like hubby would be working with my dad on our roof and my mom would be wandering their property on her own, I realized this might be my one and only chance to get up there, don my straw hat and spend some QT with mom and the blackberry hedge. In retrospect, I should have photographed this behemoth for your very eyes, but I forgot. Call it a minor case of heatstroke. Take my word for it, though, these bushes/hedges/prickly hillsides are nothing to sniff at. We "trim" them with a chainsaw.

Despite the stiffling heat and widespread lack of A/C (my parents live in blessed hippie country where A/C is a laughable household accessory), we cheerfully sprayed ourselves with sunscreen, grabbed our favorite plastic buckets (old Cool Whip containers) and made for the berries.

While my fingers (and lips) purpled and I sweated clear through my entire "play" outfit, mom and I chatted it up and managed to pick 10 whole pounds of blackberries.

It was glorious. Gravel and hay crunching under my feet, grass and trees rustling around in the periphery, lizards and birds skittering amongst the underbrush, sweet berry juice staining my face - it really does not get much better than this.

Add to that a trip to pottery heaven and a nice little visit with our friend, Wayne, who owns, runs, cares for and creates this particular slice of heaven with his lovely wife Karen AND a trip to see my fantastically sassy grandma made for a very happy (while also very toasty) Finny.

Best compliment alert! Wayne told me, with a little knowing smile in his eyes, that I still am the little country girl he remembers (our families have been friends for a long time), since not a lot of Silicon Valley girls would leave the A/C of Santana Row for a hot dusty field and risk getting blackberry juice under their nails.

And you know what? He's right. I drove home that night with blackberry juice under my fingernails and giant smile on my face.


  1. those berries look delish!!!

    are you going to make something with them or just dig into them?

    (i had to buy another 20 lbs. of blueberries because i ate the other box!!!)

  2. HOly cow I am so envious! What a wonderful weekend. What will you do with all the berries? Pie? Jam? Stuff them in your mouth as fast as possible?

  3. Oh yummy! I used to pick blackberries on my grandparent's farm. When I was done (and in the same shape you described) my grandma would make blackberry steam pudding (I think it's an old-fashioned dish because I've never heard of it since - although I have made it once) with this sweet hard sauce! Thanks for the memory!
    I picked blueberries this weekend in MA, but it's nothing like the work of blackberry picking! :)

  4. You can be a country girl in Silicon Valley, you just have to be able to afford Woodside. I don't even want to know what a house on a decent sized piece of land costs there anymore.

  5. Steven - GAH! You most certainly do not. I don't even think I have that enough placeholders in my mind for all those zeros. Let's just say multi-millions, and you're not getting a house with those millions. Sure is pretty though. *Sigh* I'll settle for trips to my folks place in Sonoma.


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.