Now that I'm working full time, and dealing with a couple of situations that are unmentionable, my free time during the week is virtually nonexistent. Therefore, much like the vast majority of women in the world, I'm trying to cram everything in on the weekend. I do laundry and groceries during the week, cook and bake during the week, and take everyone to their activities, games, concerts, rehearsals, etc. – but the other stuff, the more fun stuff, has to wait for the weekend.
Even if the weather does not cooperate.
I was determined that we were going to pick strawberries today. Next weekend is the big Strawberry Festival here, and all the fields will be depleted. After that, it's too hot for any strawberries to hang around. It's been raining off and on for a couple of days now, and the forecast for Sunday featured thunderstorms all day. After church, we ate a quick lunch, and I jumped into the car with four kids and six buckets. I told them that as soon as we got to the strawberry fields, we'd have to begin to pick fast. As we drove, the sky grew darker and darker. I alternated looking at the road and looking at the sky. What a clear up, would it stay overcast, or would the sky worsen?
3 miles from the fields, I got my answer. Looking up ahead on the road, I could see the rains. It was kind of cool, a neatly defined line of where the rain had already begun to fall. Soon, we were immersed in it. Wipers on low, wipers on high, headlights on. About 30 seconds in, I gave up. We weren't going to be able to pick strawberries today. I turned around the car, telling the kids "Maybe we'll try during the week." Everyone complained. "We really wanted to pick strawberries!" Me too, kids, me too. i had visions of jams and berry pie, of strawberry infused vodka and ice cream sauce.
One of my kids asked me, "You said the field is three miles away, right? Why don't we drive there and see? Maybe it will stop. Maybe it's not even raining there!"
Wisdom from a Shortie. Hmmm. Maybe she's right, I thought to myself, so we turned around again and drove to the field. It was still raining fairly heavy when we got there and so we sat in the car for about five minutes. Soon enough, the rain tapered off, and the sprinkling was pronounced tolerable - and out of the Jeep we jumped. Buckets weighed, instructions given, thumder warning heeded - we trekked through the mud, splashed through the puddles, went to the far end of the field, and picked us some strawberries.
It was INSANELY muddy. Our sneakers (duh, I wasn't thinking - if I was, I would have made everyone wear rainboots) were ankle deep in the mud. The plants were so wet that the sleeves of my sweat jacket were literally dripping, and I had to ring them out before I could move on to another section. Our knees were coated, legs splattered - and we loved every minute of it.
49.5 pounds worth of fun, to be precise. We may have been a little bit overzealous.