It sounds so 1940's or something, but that is what the annual event is called. Every year a group of women from the church get together out at Kelletts U-pick berry farm near Hixon. Actually we get together at the church at 9:30 and car pool out there, have lunch together, hang out at the farm and pick berries.
I have a hard time even saying "Raspberry Social" and refer to the event as "Raspberry Day" so as not to conjure up images of bonnet-wearing women with picnic baskets and plaid blankets.
This year I invited Jade and Nissa and their kids to participate. (Nissa grew up with Jade and is referred to as her "other sister." She and her 2 young kids have been coming to church with me for the last couple of months.) Both girls were quite excited to come along. This meant I had 3 adults and 3 carseats for the children aged 6, 14 and 27 months old. Obviously my small import car was not capable of this, so the plan was for me to pick Nissa and the kids up first and drop her and one carseat off at the church to carpool with someone then I'd run back and get Jade and Xander.
As luck and bad timing would have it, I was bleeding to death and hopped-up on T3's this week. I wasn't regretting asking the young mothers to come with me, but I no more felt like going than flying to the moon. Okay, I admit it. I was actually regretting even asking them. But I forged ahead.
It seemed like an overwhelming big deal to gather lawn chairs, berry picking buckets, make a large pasta salad and get myself ready to be out of the house by 9am that day. I was running late.
Nothing stresses me more than running late.
As I'm throwing a comb through my hair and brushing my teeth, I hear a male voice yell from the other room, "You might want to give yourself some extra time. The fuel light came on in your car last night." I don't think the f-word was audible, but you can be sure it bounced around in my head.
I make a quick call to Jade telling her I was gonna be a bit late getting her by the time I got Nissa and stopped for fuel. And I was out the door.
A few blocks down the street, I thanked God for cellphones, apologized for dialing while I was speeding down the street, and called home to say that in all my flurry of getting ready I forgot to call Jed this morning and We Care would be arriving shortly.
I arrived at Nissa's to see her waiting on her front step with the kids sitting in their double stroller after just getting back from their walk to a bank machine. I knew I was running late already and could just envision everyone leaving from the church while I sat there waiting for her to get the carseats from inside.
Once again I thanked God for cellphones and called home to say, "I forget the number for the church but please call and tell them I need a ride for one adult and one carseat. Please don't leave until I get there." It had briefly crossed my mind to call someone yesterday to let them know I was bringing extra people who would need to carpool, but of course I didn't do it.
We got the carseats installed in my back seat and got the kids buckled in. Then we had to remove the lawn chairs and everything from my trunk. Then we had to actually disassemble the large double stroller in order to cram everything into my trunk. Once again, let me emphasize that I don't do well under stress and running late causes stress.
I had to keep reminding myself to just breath. I reminded myself that this was a fun day, there was absolutely no need for stress. I reminded myself how much I love raspberry jam. I reminded myself I had a large bottle of drugs in my purse. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.
Just as we managed to slam the trunk closed my phone rang. It was "home" calling.
"Uh..... um," I heard.
C'mon spit it out. I don't have time for phone games.
"Uh, the secretary at the church said the Raspberry Social was yesterday."
This time I am rather confident the f-word was audible. Very audible.
I can remember being a young mom and how exciting and uplifting a day out was. I couldn't bring myself to say, "Too bad. So sad," and run home and crawl into bed. But I assure you that is exactly what I wanted to do.
We decided to head to Jade's house and make a plan from there.
Since we didn't all fit in my vehicle, we decided we'd put the kids in the strollers and walk to McDonald's for lunch and let the kids play at McPlayland. Fries are better than raspberries anyway.
This was Xander's first trip to McDonalds. Of course he only got to sip water from a sippy cup while the rest of us gorged ourselves on sodium, fat and sugar, but I got some cute pictures of him.
Jade was sure she qualified for the "under 4 feet tall" rule and packed X up through the tunnels and slides for his first ever playground experience.
I've never clocked the distance but I'm guessing it was a 3 or 4km hike when all is said and done.
By the time I dragged my sorry butt home, my first words to my husband were, "Granny died. I am just a ghost who has returned to tell you the story." And I fell in an exhausted heap into my bed.