Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Two cups


IMG_5459A couple of weeks ago I listened to a report on my commute about the health benefits of wild blueberries.  I don’t, of course, remember exactly what the health benefits were, but I remember my reaction to the story.

I laughed out loud.

The report recommended a person eat two cups of wild blueberries a day.  Yes that’s right.  Two cups.   Memories of picking wild blueberries sprang immediately to mind.  I used to live in the Keweenaw Peninsula which is a part of Michigan waaaaay  north, a piece of  rocky, somewhat hilly land that juts out into Lake Superior.   It’s stunningly beautiful and a place I miss in a chilly yet warmly reminiscent sort of way.

One of the things people did in the summer up there was pick wild blueberries.  There was a field at the top of the mountain that rumor said had the best wild blueberries.  No one talked about where it was;  it was a secret held closely by the locals and I was not a local.  But eventually, after living there a few years I wormed the location out of a friend.

You drove up the main road, turned off on a little used side road and then turned into an abandoned driveway that wound through the woods until you got to a gate which you had to open, drive through and close behind you lest someone notice you were there and discover the secret.  Then you drove along the side of an empty field, parked near the back of the field behind some trees and you were there!

The first time I followed these directions I thought I had been played for a fool.  There were no blueberry bushes on this empty abandoned land.  I wandered a bit with my big pail looking for the bushes.  You know, the bushes you’d find at a blueberry farm down near the towns I once lived in.  The cultivated bushes, some as tall as a person covered in huge sweet berries, the bushes almost purple from the weight of the fruit.

Almost purple….hmmm….the ground near my feet seemed almost purple.  Could it be?  No way!  There were wild blueberry bushes under my feet!   They were not even a foot tall, the berries smaller than half my little fingernail.  Almost imperceptible.   They were everywhere and indescribably delicious, sweet and tart all at the same time.

It took me a couple hours to pick enough berries to cover, in one layer, the bottom of my bucket.  After that first visit I’d take a small cottage cheese container and was lucky to collect a cup at any one visit.    And those were the good days.  I picked much less than that the time I ran across a bear enjoying the fruit of my favorite shrub.

So when the researchers in the latest wild blueberry study recommended people eat two cups of wild blueberries a day I laughed out loud.  Obviously they have never picked their own berries; it would take half a day to pick two cups of berries.  And the season isn’t that long…so you’d want to pick extras to freeze for the winter months.

Seems pretty impractical to me.  But I enjoyed thinking about it, and remembering a simpler time from years ago when I spent some quiet time on top of a mountain hidden behind trees gathering the spoils of the earth.

That was a sweet and tart time in my life and I am glad the researchers took me back for a visit, if only in my own mind.

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Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

20 thoughts on “Two cups

  1. The only time I’ve ever seen wild blackberries was at the top of a very tall mountain in Maine. We didn’t realize how much we’d be climbing, and failed to bring water with us, so those blueberries really hit the spot. But, I think we each only ate about 5! Maine bluberries are really, really, really tiny, so two cups would be ridiculous.

    Picking is a very time consuming process. But if you didn’t pick your own, you’d go bankrupt. Blueberries are expensive, even in season!


  2. Good story!


  3. I just buy the frozen wild maine blue berries….much easier 🙂 You know we planted two blueberries this year in our garden….they grew two foot over the summer. Hoping for some treats next year even though they won’t be a good as the wild ones.


  4. I love blueberries, but two cups a day sounds a bit excessive. Probably just like all the other healthy advice we get on a regular basis!


  5. Let’s see – two cups a day would be 700+ for a year. One half day to pick two cups would mean it would take you a year to pick the 700+ cups, wouldn’t it? I agree, not terribly practical.



  6. Blueberry picking — sounds like hard work to us — and you probably end up with blue thumbs by the end of the day.


  7. Here are another couple of thoughts. First, have you ever heard or read that if you’re lost in the woods you should NOT hunt and pick berries because you’ll spend more energy getting them than you’ll get from them? I think that advice would be hard to follow, don’t you? My other thought is lovely wild blueberry picnics near the shore of Lake Superior — but no, I’m not going to give directions to the spot!


  8. I also use frozen wild blueberries (about 3/4 cup a day), but I’ve picked them wild before, and I doubt they’re really wild. But, they probably are what were used in the study…
    I’m itching for a Keweenaw trip – with or without blueberries – but will do my best to stave off that travel bug!


  9. Bowsers, we didn’t know you was a u-per. Dad remember a geology field trip to the UP. Pawsome country.


  10. 2 cups… lol! Wonderful story/memory. I’ve picked wild blueberries, too, so I can appreciate the humor. They are tasty little things. 🙂


  11. 2 cups per day? They must’ve been talking about wine not blueberries! LOL! Never picked blueberries but maybe it is more fun than wild black raspberries with the preponderance of poison ivy?


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