Saturday, June 20, 2009

Too Darn Hot!

Too darn hot!
(I told you so.)

Alright. I admit it; after living in Florida for sixteen years, I should have known better but the lure of those midnight- blue berries, each plumper than the last , kept my hands busy plucking from the well-groomed bushes in Lundy’s blueberry field. Yes, it was one –hundred degrees in the shade and I was the only human in the entire acreage-a sure clue I had no business being there. But in my defense, company was coming to dinner and I did promise a fresh blueberry pie for dessert. Besides, my practical nature told me that the ‘U-Pick Your Own’ for one dollar and fifty cents sign out-weighed the six dollars a pound at he counter.
Pacing my Tilley hat firmly on my hot head, strapping the supplied bucket around my waist and taking one more swig of water from the standing water cooler, I headed out into the berry field to complete my mission. Mr. Lundy’s words of warning waning in the distance with each step I took. “Don’t stay out there too long, now. It’s mighty hot.”
Time was of no consequence; my main focus was filling the bucket with each added berry. A slight breeze fanned my reddening face and I was proud of my efforts. The container was three-quarters full when I heard the inquiring voice of the owner.
“You alright? I came out to check on you; and here, drink some water.”
“Thank you, I think I will. But I’m fine; another twenty minutes should do it.”
“O.K. I’ll be waiting.”
It wasn’t ten minutes and several handful of choice berries later when the first wave of nausea reared its ugly head.
Oh, oh. I’m headed for trouble. This little excursion is coming to a halt. I turned direction and slowly made my way back to the sun-sheltered berry stand. I paid the fee and as I reached for my change, suddenly my body went weak and I felt the nausea return accompanied by a strange tingling feeling racing up and down my hands and arms.
No, please dear God, I cannot throw up and pass out right here in front of You and this sweet, dear man.
“Sir,” I managed to say, “do you mind if I sit in that chair? I guess I overdid it.”
By the time I sat down, with my head between my knees, Mr.Lundy reached into his refrigerator and placed a cold bottle of water on my neck. A cool compress placed on my forehead soon followed. The relief was immediate. The tingling ebbed and I looked up to see a new customer staring at my sweat-matted hair, flushed face and glazed eyes.
“Do I need to take her somewhere?” she offered.
“No, no,” I protested, “I’m comin’ around.” Thoughts of calling my husband flashed through my mind but then I’d recalled his words of warning, “You intend to pick berries in the heat of the day!” I’d gotten myself into this pickle and I am an independent sort.
By the time the lady strapped on her bucket and headed toward the blueberry field, I felt I was back in control of my body, thanked Mr. Lundy for his gracious help and told him I’d be back next week.
“Come in the morning,” he cautioned. “I’m open at five-thirty.”
Driving home with the A.C. cranked to the hilt, I mused, Hopefully, my guests will enjoy the fresh blueberries; but maybe my slice should be called humble pie.

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