14 August 2012

A day in the country

My great friend R has two homes: one in the country and one in town. During the summer she and her family spend most of their time in the country (an hour away from town). I've wanted to head out there this summer for quite some time, but either the timing just never worked or lately I had been a bit too nervous about my due date coming up to travel too far. But after another Skype video-chat with my family on Sunday and my stepmom and aunt saying that I shouldn't be too concerned with sticking near home until I'm down to a handful of days before the due date, I got the idea back in my head that I could still make the trip to visit R in the near future. So when I woke up early yesterday morning (just after 8) and the sun was shining bright, I impulsively gave R a call and asked if she was in the country and would she want company.

I got myself ready, filled the car up with gas, bought some vanilla sauce (for the dessert she was going to make) and drove myself out to the country side. It was a pleasant drive with the window down and Red Hot Chili Peppers' album Blood Sugar Sex Magik blaring from the speakers. We (Paxlet and I) reached our destination in an hour, just as we should have because Google maps (and R's husband) gave perfect directions. I think Paxlet was excited to be out in the country too, as he wiggled during most of the drive.

After quickly greeting R, I waddled as fast as I could to the outdoors toilet*. LOL. Then, R and I headed inside to get lunch ready. Actually, I just sat there chatting with R and her 3 year old daughter while R did everything. I did help keep R's daughter entertained by reading her a book. Lunch (and dessert) was delicious!!! And most of the food was from their own property: chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, black currents and rhubarb!

After lunch, R and I headed outside to pick some black currants from their bushes. Even though it was sunny and warm out, we were in pants and long sleeve shirts because of the stinging nettles (nokkonen) and mosquitoes (hyttynen). Thankfully the mosquitoes weren't too bad, but we were up to our  armpits and more in stinging nettles. These nasty buggers grow like crazy (although, if you pick them very young, they make a great quiche). The black currants were perfectly ripe, insanely sweet and huge! R attributes this to the "chicken shit and ash" she put on the bushes at the beginning of the spring. She's not sure she wants to try "horse shit", for fear of what might happen then!

When R's daughter came to show us the caterpillar she found, we decided to take a quick break from picking. R's husband brought us some adult water (soda water), as per the daughter's words, to quench our thirst. During this break, R's husband took some cute pictures of us three girls relaxing.
Yes, I'm almost 39 weeks pregnant and R is almost 34 weeks pregnant and we were both out stomping around in the bushes picking berries! It was so relaxing to be picking the berries while chatting away.

I took my camera with me, but never took it out of my bag. I did manage to take one picture with my camera phone though, of their cat Anku. Every time I sat down, he jumped up in my lap for some love or he laid in the rocking chair next to mine and begged for pets. He's such a soft and loving sweetie.

The original plan was to leave the country side around 4pm to head back to town, but the reality was that we didn't leave until around 7pm. R rode with me and R's husband, daughter and cat took their car. On our way back to town, R and I stopped for an ice cream and couldn't help but laugh at ourselves and the sight we must have made: Two very visibly pregnant women grunting as they try to climb out of the car and buy ice cream! We also got some funny looks from the neighbors as we dropped some juice and jam off at a family member's house.

I didn't get home until almost 9pm, very tired, yet very happy. It was an amazing day spent with my friend and her family. It was great to catch up on life, grumble a tiny bit about husbands (even though we both love our guys dearly, sometimes they are frustrating!), compare pregnancy notes, get some advice about labor and delivery (from R's view point and experience), laugh at R's daughter's antics, pick some berries (they were yummy on hot oatmeal this morning) and get some fresh air.

*They don't have an indoor toilet nor running water. All water comes from a neighbor's well until they get their own well drilled.