Sunday, August 31, 2008

Blueberry Country

My mother phoned to tell me that she'd have to postpone her visit from Monday until Saturday. I told her she'd be missing out on the second round of blueberries I bought with her in mind. That's when she informed me you're in the middle of blueberry country.

Certainly there are other countries I wouldn't mind being in the middle of like gold country or lavender country but there's something quixotic about being in the middle of blueberry country that I just can't deny.

And the blueberries are very, very good. Possibly the best I've ever had. So good, in fact, that I'm wondering if I shouldn't go back and buy that 5 lbs. -- yes, 5 lbs. that's half a cat or a whole gallon of water -- box they're selling to make and freeze a couple of pies. I'd be all over it except I'm a little bit afraid after my last pie filling that was 'just okay.' It tasted sweet but it ran all over the place. Should I go for it anyway? Is it worth the second attempt? Will the fact that I'm in blueberry country add it's magic to the pie making process?

Yesterday I found the farmer's market and some of the best peaches and tomatoes I've had all year. The west side of Michigan is living up to it's fruit farming reputation all around. I am happy to say that I found the market with very little trouble and I did not run a single light or stop sign.

This has been an issue.

First off, I'd like to say that I am a very good driver unlike most of the people in my neighborhood who I have seen almost crash into each other waaaay too often for the fact that I have only lived here a week. Second I'd like to say that this town is not for the weak of heart or those with poor eyesight. The street names are given primarily on small signs that sit only at one corner of the intersection. Finding and reading these signs caused me to run a light -- something I have never done before. I was both mortified and terrified after I ran it. The car in front of me (by a good ways) went through and I just followed him -- except it was very red by the time I entered the intersection. I'm just glad I didn't get hit.

I'm also confused by the way these streets angle. Streets that start off running north-south suddenly curve in arcs. I'm okay with streets that run on diagonals, but these guys can't figure out when they're curving and when they're not. Worse is when it's a curvy one-way. I am used to one-ways that operate on a grid but Kalamazoo defies logic and requires memorization of it's drivers.

The good news is that Kalamazoo is safe from my driving for the night. I'm staying in to read the text book assigned to my students and maybe even write fairy tales of blueberry country.

Highly Recommended