I read a quote the other day, which fairly represents the current state of things in our house: “She wanted a puppy. But I didn’t want a puppy. So we compromised and got a puppy.” So, last night, after Suzanne prepared a delicious supper of local everything, we were instructed that there was no time to relax. Why, ripe blueberries have been spotted in the hills! All hands on deck! Man your posts! Fortunately, part of the preparation for this year involved gorging ourselves with “store-bought” ice-cream, so there are no shortage of plastic tubs in the house. Empty tubs. Tubs that are supposed to be filled. By us. Oh, joy upon joy! So, off we go. Lovely evening. Beautiful on the hill. No wind, few mosquitos. And there were berries, yes. Patchy. Small. But, berries undeniably. We set to work with dreams of bounty that would supplant any winter cravings for oranges or grapefruit or pineapple or grapes. Why, we would imminently be rich in produce, capable of spending a winter of movie-watching with blueberries as our popcorn substitute. The problem with gathering is the concept of value for time. My time. Is this a real problem or merely a personal misconception? Or could it perhaps be familial? After an hour I found one of the children sitting on the moss, dreamily listening to her audio-book while petting the dog. I found another sprawled out on a sunny bank, the telltale sonorous breathing explaining all. Meanwhile, I had taken a preference to looking for the mother-load of berries, hiking and exploring, being lured by the adventure, actually doing something. As for berries? Needless to say, we will be returning to the hills.