This year I swore I was having a birthday week. Every year my husband claims an entire week for his birthday. Of course his birthday is right before Christmas, so he has always gotten ripped off in that regard. But this year I decided I was gonna have a birthday week. Those plans did not come to pass. We are house shopping, so now is not the time to spend money willy nilly on silly presents. And my boys are gone away at summer camp, so some of the fun things I envisioned doing are not that fun by myself. Oh well. When I was little there was one special birthday present I always looked forward to. Sometimes it came early. Sometimes a bit late, but it always came right around my birthday. Well in the convoluted memory of a child it did, but that might not be right in retrospect. But the very best birthday present was blackberry day.
We would get up at the crack of dawn and put on our bathing suits. Yes. Then we would put on long sleeves and jeans and Mom would grab the buckets and pots for the berries. We would pick in the wee hours of the morning, before it got so hot that the long clothes were unbearable. We would fill the pots and buckets and eat a fair few along the way. Then we would head to the beach.
There wasn't a real beach in Ohio, but we went to a lake shore. We stripped off our long clothes, went swimming and had a picnic lunch. For some reason I swear that my Aunt Diane always served us deviled ham sandwiches, but again, the unreliability of a child's mind. I'm sure we ate other things sometimes.
And we would come home after a day at the beach and Mom would get to work. Some berries would go into pies, some into jams. To this day blackberries are my favorite fruit. But the very best part was the next morning.
The next morning instead of cereal or eggs or anything else we would have blackberries for breakfast. A big bowl of blackberries and a spoon. Mom would pour cold milk over them, and we would add just a teeny bit of sugar of they needed them. And when all the berries were gone, we would drink the purple milk!
I think this year when my birthday comes in a few days I'm having blackberries for breakfast.