I can still see him laying in front of the wood stove
where the sunlight from the skylight above him hit
"just that spot".
Which became "his spot".
I miss him a lot.
The doggie days of summer mean many things
to many people.
For Old Meme, it means picking blueberries.
She has been picking blueberries
for over 80 years.
I mean, that's a lot of berry picking.
She said she used to sell them door to door, for a nickle a quart.
Can you imagine?
Mama took Old Meme blueberry picking today.
Old Meme picked ten quarts in two hours.
And my Mama, she is a pro at blueberry picking.
You should see her getup!
She has a plastic quart cup on a string around her neck,
an old floppy hat,
a stool slung onto her shoulder for sitting.
This is so she can search out and pick the best
and largest berries way down below hidden away.
Except my Mama.
She KNOWS how to find them.
she is an
JUST TRYING TO LIVE
CLOSE WITH THE LAND.
You can see me and her getting ready to go berry picking ourselves.
Every once in a while I get to go.
Mama puts me on a leash and puts the loop around her ankle so
SHE CAN PICK TO HER HEART'S DELIGHT
I CAN EAT TO MY HEARTS DELIGHT.
She told me once that it was her older brother Danny
who first brought her berry picking.
But it was her aunt Claire who took her at 9,
best berry picking places ever!!
And since then, she's been hooked.
Every summer, during the
"dog days of summer"
you can find her picking blueberries.
Over the years she would take her young grandchildren,
Bunny Wunny and Bumble Bee
They would stuff their faces silly with
you ever saw.
They loved that part,
MOST OF ALL.
We do love our berries here and eat them all year long.
Our Mama picks
quarts, and quarts and quarts.
I love this time!!!
just can't seem to stay on the counter.
Mama works hard to prepare them for the freezer.
But you see,
the "baby blues", they have this
dance they do.
But for me, its like
and they jump,
and before you know it
they have taken the big plunge,
that great leap out into the universe,
"where no berry has gone before".
It is my "ever ready bunny"
personality that works well here
because I am watching like a hawk for the
"bouncing baby blues"
Rolling off the counter onto the floor.
I am willing them to take flight!!
(I sing to them you know)
I am here,
I am here,
come to me,
have no fear!
I think it works, because I do seem to get to eat
quite a few of them.
Anyways, chasing blueberries
across the kitchen floor
one of my most favorite fun times.
It's like a search and rescue game I tell you.
I AM SORRY,
I do not rescue them.
I eat them.
While I chase the berries
Papa chases me yelling
trying to get me to stop.
It is something about
eating things off the floor.
I just tell him it's the "5 second rule".
He said his old Italian papa Poppy
used to chase him around too
calling out Oofa, Oofa.
Some things never change.
But this time of year it gets hot,
and it gets muggy, and well, all I can do is
DREAM, DREAM, DREAM
of running through the arena
in the snow up over my head!!
I love that so much.
(You can see me in my picture in my "snow cap". )
to cool down.
Back home in Atlanta the "home folks"
had a little kiddie wading pool that we all swam in.
Now it's me
laying in front of the air conditioner
under a ceiling fan
flying at full speed
with me singing
"Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh".
Not that I have ever seen a "one horse open sleigh",
but I do dash through the snow.
You should see me as I
spread out my wings,
my ears like I am
And so, I hope you are enjoying
the dog days of summer.
Dream of SNOW!
Chell Sommese is a retired teacher.