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Stop and smell the berries

Jeanne Sager - Columnist
Posted 7/6/20

I was hungry and they were ripe.

I can't think of any better reason for having grabbed a few berries off the vines hanging from the side of the road during our walk, except that maybe I've done it …

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Stop and smell the berries

Posted

I was hungry and they were ripe.

I can't think of any better reason for having grabbed a few berries off the vines hanging from the side of the road during our walk, except that maybe I've done it hundreds — maybe even thousands — of times before. The birds hadn't gotten them yet. They were free game.

That my husband was taken aback was a surprise to me, but I suppose it shouldn't have been.

He didn't grow up like me, a wild being among wild things on a wild country road. I grew up building forts in jungles of rhododendron and scouting salamanders in the roots of giant oak trees. I grew up skipping rocks and catching frogs.

He grew up in proper suburbs with streets that were planned out and houses that matched. He pitched his basketball at a backboard only for it to bounce off onto a concrete driveway.

He could walk to school.

He often did.

My driveway threw up a dust cloud if I entered too fast.

Walking to school would have taken me half a day, even if I cut straight up the mountain.

It's come to my attention very recently that one does not grab berries from hanging bushes in proper suburbs when you're out for a morning walk.

Almost twenty years into marriage, and let's face it: We can still surprise each other.

He doesn't sigh when he digs his toes into river dirt.

He doesn't take a deep breath into his lungs and hold the scent in his nose when we're driving over a freshly paved road.

He doesn't have river shoes, didn't know what river shoes even were until I'd taught him what to do with sneakers that have busted at the seams.

The suburban education he's given me over the years holds. I've learned about people who can drive 5 minutes to the local box store and the lure of something called the Y.

Somehow I always come out with something a little bit different to keep us both on our toes.

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