Friday, June 7, 2013

Our Lucky Day

Well, for one thing, Silas had his first day of "summer school". Homeboy has been angsty that he isn't old enough to do some of the fun stuff the Biggers have on the docket, so we've all come to a nonverbal agreement to hype up his daycare/pre-school mornings as his extra-special, ridiculously fun Summer Camp. Cue exclamation points. !!!!!!!!!!!

And yes, I said morningS. Someone who loves him very much and understands him quite well graciously offered to pay for him to go on Monday mornings in addition to Friday mornings.

He offered mixed reviews today, including choice pre-schooler drama in the vein of, "The chicken nuggets were HUGE, so we could only get one, not two." (Chicken patty = HUGE chicken nugget.)

I stewed about him being gone, gotta be honest. Change is always a challenge for my boy, but safe change is healthy. Like his brother at this age, if given the option, Siley Pants would never, ever, ever leave my side. Ever.

But it's fun to watch them learn that they can do brave things and make friends and have fun away from Mama's side. I loved scooping him up and hearing all about his morning.

(I also loved dining peacefully at Taco Bell with Calvinator and Rubester.)

On the way home, we happened upon a wee strawberry sign at a random Amish farm. It was so small, I drove right on by. But then my honed produce instincts kicked in and I turned the boat around.

Come to me, farmy strawbs.

I only wish our experience were half as quaint as that of the family in the background. They murmured in hushed tones while they mingled amid the berries. There was the humming of hymns. Some soft laughter.

We did things... another way.

Silas was more focused than I've ever seen him, bent and intent on picking the smallest, greenest berries he could find. Then there was the rock throwing. The sneaky pea picking.

Ruby decided to personally show me every. single. berry. she picked. And she really wanted a response for each mini-Vanna White display. I ran out of reactions. "Oooh! Good one!" "Nice!" "It's!" "Wow, that's a cute one!" "Looks super juicy!"


There was much tattling. A few odd threats. Etc...

We had to keep regrouping. "Everyone look at Mommy's face. Look at my face. Right here. No, look here. Look at me. Look at this strawberry I'm holding. Silas, look. Ruby, my eyes! Look here! Do you see this strawberry? See how it's red? This is what we're picking today. Calvin, please stop throwing them into the bowl. Look at my eyes. You can't throw them so hard. They are fragile. Put down the rock. One! Two! Okay, is everyone listening?"



But we eventually sorta rallied. We got it done. It was fun, and who gives a rip if I stained my jeans?

Sister-friend's eyes are half-closed, but it felt important to show you her outfit.
This girl. She's just so rad.

Favorite nose EVER!
She has been rocking that scarf every which way today. I'm way impressed. Calvin, too.

So yeah, I'm a city girl now.
But these cows, these barns, these rusty gates and all the spigots in the universe fill my veins.
They bring me to life in a different way, a really loud way, the calmest way ever.

I'm so thankful for all of it, for the buckled sidewalk of my new-ordinary days and the wide-sky sigh found just a handful of miles from here.

I'll take 'em both, thank you. This and that.
I don't have to choose.
I can be a farmgirl in the city and I can love every minute of it and never ever feel like a fraud.

We're complicated people, right? We're a little bit towny, a little bit rock-a-billy.
It's the only way to roll.

Lay it on me, how was your Friday?
Hope you found yourself a little wonder.
And if not? Tomorrow's so ripe.


  1. I can TOTALLY picture your strawberry picking as I used to try and take my 3 boys...Norman Rockwell portraits we were not! :-)

  2. Spent my Friday shopping with the best shopping partner this momma could ever have! He's a bit over 6 feet tall and cute as a button - calm and cool as a cucumber - my personal chauffeur for the next couple of months! Could I ask for more?!?

    So in love with Miss Ruby's outfit - L.O.V.E. it! Bless your soul for taking the littles berry picking. We have some in our backyard - or at least we used too. Two of the littles have been either picking our devouring them - not sure if there will be any left once they are completely ripe!! Oh the joys of having little the grace of God, they do grow up!


  3. you know, you telling me personally about your convo with the littles cheered me to my CORE. I pretty much felt like the mom who was always talking ALWAYS ALWAYS talking while the universe and everyone under seven ignored her...I felt like a bad parent to be honest. Now, I feel like part of your club. I like being in your club.
    So thanks.

  4. ^ (from the bottom of my heart)

  5. Loved this! Your mommy monologue sounded like something straight outta my book! I have a "Ruby" who has to show me EVERYTHING, too, especially when we weed our garden. I also have a "Silas" (who, coincidentally, is really a Calvin) who would be the one to pick green berries just because I said red. I'm living your life, girl. Isn't it great? :)

  6. Ahhh what sweet dumplins those babies of yours are. Ruby's fashion sense!!! I love Siley picking the little green berries instead of the big red ones!! Totally cracked me up because one of mine would have done the same. I remember blueberry picking with my 3, we got about 1/4 cup, maybe enough for one muffin, and then I was like, well that was super fun guys!!!! Okay, time to go!! You speak the language of all the mamas in the universe, I love it. They are at a delicious age, all of them, despite the reprimands and green berries and all!

  7. End of the school year for my children, end of the school year for my students, graduations, promotions, and anarchy. That was Friday. People coming in town, the first nephew graduating, not enough eating, a smidgeon too much drinking (coffee), people needing me nonsensically, looking in my fridge and realizing I still haven't cooked that meat, and tasks so compactly scheduled I had to break them into 30 minute intervals on my calendar app. This was my Friday. It's 4:25 I. The aye em. I think I am awake because I am still traumatized over it all. Also, because we are traveling to Vegas tomorrow, and frankly, that place is lame. And hot.

  8. So, I have decided something. Your pictures expose the true wonder of your experiences. Despite all the bickering, green berry picking, and lack of hymns, your camera draws out the beauty and the wonder and the delight of the day.

    It's like the amazing-ness of your shots redeems the little potholes of the day, and just the good stuff remains. Reality is still documented...but the gift of the time with your babies is what shines.

    I think I've been focusing on the potholes lately. Guess I should bust out my camera. :)
    (Love the shot of the clothesline, by the way!)

  9. I too picked some awesome red berries on Friday! NOTHING BETTER!

  10. That clothesline shot, Farmgirl?
    Contest winner for sure.
    My Friday consisted of a doctors visit and then five straight hours reading on the dock under my new Target umbrella.

  11. So the last time I went strawberry picking? I got the heat stroke, yep. I had five gallons of berries picked and couldn't get myself out of the field. Had to have someone carry them to the car for me while my friend tried to find me cool drinks and assure me that ants weren't crawling all over me. I ended up peeing out in that field too. Oh, and I looked like I had been part of a massacre from all the strawberry juice all over my pants. Once I cooled off, got home and vomited, I was fine and those berries were awesome.

    I buy them picked already now, that's how I roll.

    Yesterday I cleaned houses for ten hours and ended up eating Taco Bell. You can imagine the desperation I felt in order to eat 'that food'.

    Law and Amen.

  12. Precious moments, even with all the show-and-tell, tattling, green berries and mama talk! We live in eastern NC, so rain, rain,and more rain from Hurricane Andrea tried to spoil our Friday. But my boys would have none of it, splashing through puddles on their bikes while rain was coming down so hard "it hurt my arms" they said:). These, these are the moments worth remembering!

  13. Precious moments, even with all the show-and-tell, tattling, green berries and mama talk! We live in eastern NC, so rain, rain,and more rain from Hurricane Andrea tried to spoil our Friday. But my boys would have none of it, splashing through puddles on their bikes while rain was coming down so hard "it hurt my arms" they said:). These, these are the moments worth remembering!

  14. Those strawberry photos...mmmmmmm...good enough to eat!!! Loved reading this. :)

  15. It began with organizing our towels and ended with about a pint of aqua blue paint on the carpet in our sunroom. But a lot of goodness happened in between.
    Those berries are making my mouth water!
    Happy weekend, lovely one.

  16. Bless your heart! I love reading every one of your posts, and love your pics!

  17. I musta been a farm girl once in another life of mine. I feel such a deep connection to pastures and barns and beautiful white farm houses. Or maybe it's just my perceptions of a simpler life down home there on the farm that I love. Either way. Your photos delight. And happy me. : )

  18. I want all the dresses hanging on that laundry line - so gorgeous - the colors ...mmm... might need to change my style for this summer clothing! Love the story. I have the son who eats his way through the picking-farms. We barely leave with any in the pail! Great post!

  19. Oh the dialogue. My life. EVERY OTHER MINUTE.

    It's draining, soo very draining.

    Keep at it, and so will I. Thanks for being real.

    (And if you come up with some magical solution to getting kids to look you in the eye, quit tattling and/or seriously just CHILL OUT for two seconds in a row, let us all know. I haven't found the it yet.)

  20. Whoops. "I haven't found it yet." (The solution.)


  21. Be still my beating heart....that clothesline with the perfectly pegged dresses!!!
    I wish we had Amish here in Oz.

    Btw, I recognize that look on Silas' face while he's looking at the hose. He's thinking up "naughty" stuff, isn't he? Boys and hoses = naughty mess.

  22. I loved this post.

    You're brave.

    I want to do the whole berry picking thing...with my kids... but... I would (have) sound like a lot like you, in those moments.
    I cracked up at the "family you talked about" in the background on one of the photos. That is is how I would want my experience to be, as well. It should be. It's in my blood, my heritage. (talking softly, singing/humming hymns...)
    You see. I come from a long line of Mennonites, myself... our clothesline strung out just as long as that one, too.

    ((sweet sigh))

    I love how you 1.) write and 2.) keep it real.

    Gotta love red barns, ripe berries and HUGE chicken nuggets.

    "Turn the boat around"... glad you did. (that!)

  23. Oh I love, LOVED this post. Seriously. And your photography is amazing. You are darling and all your darlings are darling-er. Keep living and writing.

  24. how i have missed your blog...i've been too "swept up" so thank you for this breath of fresh air.

  25. Dang, the simple life is beautiful, no? The colors, the vibrancy...juxtaposed with the peace. Makes me want to weep just thinking about it. I don't want to be all, "Hey, look at me!" But I really did just share some farm photos and writing here. :)

  26. Oh my,I wish I had a bowl full of strawberries right now!
    My husband will drool over that Oliver tractor.He was raised with Oliver tractors.And I could tell what sect of Mennonites because of the steel wheels on the tractor and the style of dresses on the washline.After all,it takes one to know one! :)