Tuesday, June 14, 2011

In The Strawberry Patch

Now, if you've read any of this blog, you will be aware that I have a healthy respect for grandparents, my own and my daughters. Yesterday, however, I witnessed an act of monumental patience by some grandparents completely unknown to me. Here's the story.

Having just dropped my own little monster at Bible School so as to pick in peace, I arrived here at around 9:30. I was directed by a nice young man to the far end of the field, since I was, as he stated, "less than eighty". (Once he mentioned it, I noticed the pickers at the near end of the field were definitely of a certain quality vintage.) Once I had settled in, and met the obligatory acquaintance (in this case my third grade teacher who promptly told me how many years she had been teaching, leading me to question my own vintage) I was ready to pick; a rather boring prospect until...

Down the patch came a Nana, a Papa and FIVE grandchildren. Two were of an age to be useful in the strawberry patch. Three were of an age to be the complete opposite of help. The conversation proceeded in this fashion:

"Okay, here's our spot. No, don't pick that....okay, from now on, we are only going to pick the really red ones."

"Sammy stay with Papa please."

"Now, everyone please be careful of the plants, only walk on the straw. No, don't pick tha...okay, from now on, we only pick the really red ones."

"Now honey please be careful of the plants." "Why, Nana?" "Because they are making more strawberries." "We are making strawberries?" "No honey, the plants are." "How, Nana?"

"Sammy please stay with Papa."

"Here's a good one." "Nana, put that one in our box, we are going to win." "Nana, that's not fair." "Now we are all going to share the strawberries, it doesn't matter which box. No, don't pick th...okay, how about this. Don't pick any strawberries until Papa or I look at them."

"Nana, how about this one?" "Nana, how about this one?" "Nana, how about this one?" "Sammy stay with Papa now." "Nana, how about this one?" "Nana, how about this one?"

"Look our box is almost full. We have more than you." "Nana, we need more in our box, they are winning." "We are all going to share them honey, it doesn't matter."

"Sweety you have strawberry juice on your shirt." "Nana, why don't I have strawberry juice on my shirt?"

"Sammy stay with Papa please."

And on only one occasion which trust me shows supreme patience, "SAMANTHA RAE, stay with Papa."

And finally, "Okay, I think we have enough strawberries, is everyone ready to go back to the car?" All three little ones in a chorus, "No!"

"snorfl" (The sound of a blogger two rows over trying desperately to laugh up her sleeve so as not to offend Nana and Papa.)

I don't know much for sure, but I know some not-quite-ripe strawberries got picked, and that those are some darn lucky grandkids.

Also overheard in the strawberry patch,

Teenage Boy (looking at his cell phone): How long will we be here today?
Grandma (in the voice which I can't describe, but which I'm positive you will recognize by his reaction): As long as it takes.
Teenage Boy (very quickly while stuffing his phone in his pocket): Well sure, I mean I don't have anything else to do today.

Grandchild: Are we going to fill up this whole box?
Dad: Don't worry, your grandmother is the fastest strawberry picker on the planet. We'll be here ten minutes, tops.

So, at the end of the day, I've got three priceless conversations, 9 pints of strawberry freezer jam, 6 containers of sliced/sugared and 4 containers of whole frozen strawberries. A pretty good day.

It's strawberry season, if you don't go for the berries, go for the entertainment.


Diana said...

These are FABULOUS stories! Thanks so much for sharing them.

Also, I really like strawberry jam. Just sayin'!

Norma from Misty Haven Alpacas said...

...and you were just grinning because you were ALONE!

Anonymous said...

You are such a good writer. Thanks for this, great post! SNORFL indeed!!