the blueberries saved us

Summer has swept past me in a blur. But fortunately I have some of its sweeter moments frozen in time thanks to my trusty camera (which is much more reliable and accurate than my brain).

This year, we took the kids and ventured to a new-to-us trail in New Hampshire’s Ossipee Mountains. On a beautiful August day, we followed the trail as it wound its way up Big Ball Mountain, passing a beautiful stream with waterfalls and swimming holes on the way. Our mission was simple: follow the trail to the summit and hide a letterbox we had prepared.

And to keep it real, chirping birds and scurrying chipmunks weren’t the only ones making noise. Some serious groans and moans started after the first mile (maybe even after half a mile). And they weren’t coming from me or my husband. Overwhelmed with dramatic cries of exhaustion and tears of misery, we were on the verge of abandoning our hopes for the summit (a total of two miles from our parked car), when a miraculous moment reached out and grabbed us.

As we made our way up a moderately steep rocky hill, I noticed low shrubs brushing my ankles and looked down to see an expanse of happy blueberry bushes offering their deep blue and purple fruit. And we started to pick. There were exclamations of delight, noting how sweet these wild berries tasted and how there were even too many to pick.

From that point on, we were greeted at every turn with patches of low-bush blueberries. Kids raced from one patch to the next declaring their new favorite picking spots. And even when we emerged at our destination and took in its spectacular view, it was those tiny berries that spurred the most conversation and joy. The kids decided we had to make a pie, so we emptied a jug of water and spent the better part of an hour filling it with our treasure.

A few days later, we agreed we’d never tasted a pie as delicious as the one that held our adventure within its very crust.

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