September 9 – blueberry farm kids

47/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. As elementary kids, while most of my peers were on sunny, tropical vacations, my sister and I spent our summers – like a lot of indo-canadian kids – in blueberry and strawberry farms. This was not punishment per se in my mom’s mind but it was torture in mine. Waking up at 5.30 – 6.00 am and getting to the farms to pick berries in the crazy mid-day summer heat was not my idea of a vacation – and it was 7 days a week! Had I known at the time, I would have told my mom it was child labour and she would have extended the day even longer!! LOL The only reprieve was if it was a rainy day and how I hoped it would rain every day. Yes, it taught me the value of a hard earned dollar but I could still have learned the same lesson perhaps sitting at home and getting paid to babysit my sister – just saying 😉 The time did pass every summer and it was because of all the other kids in the same situation. I often think of the family of four Sidhu siblings who were also regulars on the fruit-picking circuit. We became fast friends in our misery – telling stories, racing to pick more berries, hoping for rain, counting the hours until quitting time – all bonding moments of our childhood. If not for them, I’m not sure how me and my sister would have gotten through the summer – day in and day out – spent in the fields. As an adult, I have run into one or the other of the siblings throughout the year and our conversation immediately goes back to those days of long ago and how much we enjoyed each other’s company and the laughs we shared. Thank you Sidhu siblings for getting me through those summers and having fun in what was clearly not a fun thing to have to do as a child.

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