How different his life was before that blueberry, Bob mused. He wondered; what if I hadn’t ventured out to that particular farm last weekend? What if I had just stayed home? He shook his head and smiled, pleased with his choice.
Bright and sunny, last Saturday morning started full of promise, an open door to a father-son outing. Blue skies with temps in the high 70’s prompted Bob to say “Boys, we’re going blueberry picking!”
A call to the farm he chose from the U-Pick brochure sealed the deal. “Sure” said the farmer “The berries are ripe and we’re open. Come on down.”
So single dad, Bob and his sons Jimmy and Pete, donned sneakers, sunscreen, bug spray and hats. On their way out, each grabbed a bucket and set off for a country adventure.
They enjoyed their trip through farmland. Late morning sunbeams sliced through bright spring leaves and Spanish moss-draped trees as Bob, Jimmy and Pete drove past rolling pastures.
“Hey, what’s that bird up there Dad?” asked Pete, pointing. “It’s black and white with a cool V-shaped tail.”
“That’s a Swallow Tailed Kite, buddy. They’re unique because they migrate north to Florida for the summer, rather than south for the winter, like other birds,” said Bob. “Look. There’s another one.”
Soon, they pulled up to the farm and walked over to the rows and rows of bushes. All were laden with plump, juicy berries the deep blue color of denim.
Although none had done it before, they quickly learned how to gently rake their fingers through the branches while holding a bucket beneath. “Plop. Plop. Ploppity Plop” was the sound as their buckets started to fill.
“Whoa. Look at that!” shouted Jimmy.
“What?” asked Pete and Bob.
“Right there!” Jimmy pointed. “Dude, that’s like the biggest, most epic, ginormous blueberry ever!”
"Whoa. Dude, you’re right! It’s like giganticly huge!” said Pete.
“I know, right?!” said Jimmy. “I’ve totally got to take a picture!”
Jimmy and Pete ran over to check it out.
“Hey, Boys?” said Bob. “Boys!”
Jimmy and Pete stopped, looking back as their dad nodded a little to their left.
They looked over to see a young girl who had been just about to reach for the huge berry. All three children froze in their approach to the mesmerizing giant orb.
Jimmy was the first to speak. “Oh. Hey. sorry about that.” He grinned “Here, you take it.”
So, the girl grabbed the blueberry – almost the size of her hand - and gobbled it up before anyone could change their mind.
“Guess that one won’t be going into the pie,” said the woman with the giggling girl.
“Hi,” she said. “I’m Annie and this is my daughter Eva.”
“I’m Bob and these are my sons Jimmy and Pete. Great day for blueberry picking, don’t you think?”
“Definitely!” said Annie. “Blueberries are our favorite. Did you know they are a superfood? They’re rich in Vitamin C, anti-oxidants and phytoflavinoids.”
“Phyto what?” asked Bob.
“Phytoflavinoids. Research has shown that phytonutrients help the body avoid mutations at the cellular level and prevents the growth of cancer cells.” Annie shrugged. “I read that somewhere.”
“Basically,” she summed up “They taste great and they’re really good for you.”
“Eva and I eat blueberries a lot and we love to pick our own. We do lots of things with them, besides just popping them into our mouth, right Eva?”
“Right,” said Eva, finally done chewing. “Mom makes the best blueberry pie ever! She even won a prize last year.”
“It’s a recipe I found online, modified just a little. You can try a slice if you come to the Blueberry Festival,” invited Annie. “I’ll be serving it up at my booth. We’d love to see you there, wouldn’t we Eva?”
“Can we go Dad?” asked Jimmy. “I want to check out that climbing wall.”
“Sure.” Bob said, noticing how pretty Annie’s smile was. “We’ll plan on it!”
It was at that moment, chatting with Annie and watching the kids laughing together on that warm April day, Bob decided blueberries were most definitely his new favorite food.