Huckleberries Redux…

My daughter recently asked me to join her on an outing to pick huckleberries to eat.  Seldom in these teenage years am I asked to participate on any level.  Something about not being cool enough.  Something also about making her listen to my rambling thoughts.  

She’d heard to me perseverate enough on the wonder of these berries and decided she wanted to try them out for herself.  Knowing she was in for a real treat at the end of this journey I gleefully accepted her offer.  In the back of my mind I’m thinking this will be about quality time together maybe a chance to teach a life lesson, who knows? 

Out we go, golf club in one hand small bucket in the other.  I explain the need for a stick when hunting for berries.  Snakes also like to eat these fruit and its wise to check the plants first before poking in a hand.  No fruit no matter how tasty is worth a snakebite.  My choice of a pitching wedge purely a personal preference.  The look from her due to my decision to use a golf club on this foray amazes me.  Why is this so weird?  Why do my everyday decisions seem to cause her so much anguish.  One time I choose to wear a dashiki in public with her and forever in her mind I’m crazy and deserve to be institutionalized.  I’ve become a dalit in my own family.  Anyway, where was I?

It’s not a quick process picking huckleberries.  I doubt one could grow fat eating them as its so much work to collect them.  Maybe this is part of a larger plan.  I explain to her each plant only has a limited amount of berries.  I’m reminded  of the passage describing the provision for even the least of these and the greater concern available for each of us.  Here right before us is living truth.  This is the hand of the almighty not only feeding the deer but also making sure they have to work for it.  Could there be a lesson somewhere in there for me?  Limited availability on each plant causes the deer and other animals to keep moving from plant to plant to get their fill.  Maybe this is a reason we don’t see too many fat animals in the wild.  God keeps these little ones always on the go.

My explanations seem to annoy her.  My spiritualizing the stupid old huckleberry seems to be pushing her to the brink.  Finally it comes out…”would you just mind picking the berries for me?” “I’m going back in the house, too many creepy crawly things out here” 

Then it hits me…my princess just wanted some stupid berries to chew on.  She didn’t want to hear my meanderings.  So now not only am I the family dalit I also am the day laborer as well.  Such is the life of a dufus dad.


1 Comment

  1. carlw4514 said,

    July 22, 2008 at 10:56 am

    Your post is one of just a few I’ve found on Huckleberry picking. I plan to blog about it in about a week at:

    Your relationship with your daughter reminded me of a couple of Nicholas Cage movies, “The Weather Man,” only a fair movie, and “Mathstick Men”, one of my favorites. You really ought to see those movies if you haven’t.

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