What Fruit Makes the Best Apology?

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Strawberries, blueberries, oranges and cherries are all anti-inflammatory according to Harvard Health, which seems exactly the quality you would want in a fruit being used as an apology. For this here Wellness Wednesday apology, I’m going with blueberries because they are:
  1. in-season, and
  2. dogs love them.
That dogs love them is key.

The fact of the matter is I’ve had a lingering sense of sorrow about the last two columns on managing aggressive dogs -- not for having pursued a solution for this very real situation, but for not having at least shown a little love for dogs while doing so. After all, not only do dogs make life better on so many levels for humans, they are regarded as members of the family by many people, me included. We had a beautiful Newfie for 13 years; my daughter considered Maggie her sister.

So for showing all fear and no appreciation for dogs these past two Wednesdays, please accept this “Ode to Blueberry” column as a sub-in for an edible “I’m sorry” fruit bouquet. On with the Ode:
  • Oh blueberries, you are mighty. Your antioxidant goodness helps keep free radicals in check.
  • Oh blueberries, you are tasty. You basically add deliciousness to just about anything. 
  • Oh blueberries, of all the fruits, you make the best stories. To prove my point, I have a blueberry story for 4 out of my 5 grandchildren. No other fruit-based grandchildren stories of any kind come to mind while the latest blueberry story is freshly in-season from just last weekend.*
  • Oh blueberries, you are just one more reason Maine is wonderful, being the largest producer of wild blueberries in the whole wide world.
  • Oh blueberries straight from the Wyman’s bag in the freezer, how you and a drizzle of sweetener convert a sour dish of plain yogurt into instant “ice cream” is nothing short of miraculous decadence. In so far as snacks go. (Note: the frozen concoction I have described here is not to be misunderstood as dessert. While I say, “ice cream,” I’m not pawning plain yogurt, frozen fruit and a dribble of maple syrup off as dessert, just like I’m not going to pretend fruit is dessert. Only dessert is dessert.)
And lastly oh blueberries, as super as you are to food, dogs are to people. I should have said that before.
*Latest grandkid blueberry story
Last Saturday we hiked Little Jackson Mountain over by Farmington with my son’s family, an ambitious hike with a 2-, 5- and 7-year-old. We were at our most hot and weary after 2.5 hours of climbing up, up, up over rocks and roots when we finally broke through the tree canopy. The sky opened up and there before us was a stretch of endless rock all the way up to the summit. Ai, yi, yi. Another good hour. I’ll admit it was daunting which was precisely the point my daughter-in-law had waited for to mention that Mimi (that’s me) had made chocolate chip cookies which we’d have when we got to the top. This put a little kick in Zoe’ and Leo’s step and they shot up ahead. Just around the corner, though, we found them both crouched over a bush. “Blueberries!” they shouted. We all stopped to pick. I will say they were the most remarkable blueberries I’ve ever eaten. (I’m not kidding. Maybe all blueberries taste like that after 2.5 hours of sweaty uphill trudging, but I think there really was something ultra-tasty about these.)  Still, we had a mountain to climb and chocolate chip cookies awaiting. Everyone broke away from the blueberries but Leo. I watched his little fingers find one more good one and one more good one and one more good one. “There’s another one,” he said each time he plucked a berry while his parents kept calling for him to come. I’d pry him off one bush and we’d walk a few feet then another bush would come along. He couldn’t pull himself away. It was like that all the way to the top of the mountain, Leo in a blueberry trance.