I just turned almost-40. I believe I’ll refer to my entire year that way, because this is my last year before that big four-oh.
I think the almost-40 was probably harder than the actual-40 will be to face. The decade birthdays seem like a celebration, where the ones that immediately precede somehow seem like a clanking bell. Or is it just me?
As an almost-40 gift, my family gave me something that makes me happier than just about anything else I can imagine. The boys and I had planned to go to the opening day of our local blueberry patch to attempt to put a sizable dent in our annual 100-pounds-of-blueberries goal. My husband surprised me by taking the morning off work to accompany us. When I say this never happens, I am not exaggerating. My husband works hard and he works long hours, so this was a gift I never expected. He has never seen the boys and me in picking action.
We loaded up the van with every mixing bowl and colander we own, a wagon to pull the aforementioned vessels on the quarter-mile trek to and from the patch from the parking area, hats, water bottles, and a wallet full of cash. Once in the berry patch, we tied buckets at our waists and went to town, proverbially. About 20-minutes later, my eldest emptied his first filled bucket into a colander, much to my husband’s surprise. Moments later, my 13-year-old emptied his bucket. A few minutes later, the 11-year-old emptied his, and so on. My husband was flabbergasted by their speed.
We filled everything we had brought to fill (including a three-gallon food safe bucket, an enameled wash pan, four massive mixing bowls, two colanders, and a big Tupperware bowl) and took them to the weigh station to tally up our take. The experience was complete when the man weighing our berries gestured to the boys and me and informed my husband, “These are our champion pickers. I remember the first year they came. They picked till the boys were tired. They slept under that pine tree and your wife just kept picking. We had never had anyone pick 100 pounds in one day before.”