My first full day of summer vacation, and what better way to start it than to go strawberry picking?

So, bright an early this morning, bucket in hand, I headed out to one of favorite pick-your-own fields. These places are something of a treat for me. For years I’ve thought about putting in my own strawberry bed, a few blueberry bushes, but … you guessed it. I just haven’t gotten around to it.

Picking berries is a delight all its own, and it dates way back to my earliest memories. There’s something about the quiet, methodical movement of pushing back the leaves, looking for the fruit that’s just the right shade of red. Not overripe, or underripe, but just perfect. And there’s the satisfaction of the gentle thunk as the fruit drops into the bucket, the satisfaction of watching as it gradually fllls up.

This year it looks like it’s going to be a real bumper crop. My bucket was full in less than 20 minutes. It was a little disappointing to be done so soon. But I’ll be back.The season’s just getting started. And besides, it got me home in time to watch the US-Slovenia World Cup game.