3. The Blackberry Fence Hopper

I had been home from Portland for five days and had yet to grocery shop. For dinner on Thursday night I ate tortilla chips, salsa, and frosting out of the tub— truly the picture of nutrition.

Friday comes around, and I am desperate for fresh food. It is 3 degrees in Chicago, I had every intention of grocery shopping, and then hunkering down in my apartment with a cocktail and Madame Secretary.

But then I remember that my friend Charlotte has just returned to the city, so I invite her to join in my thrilling evening. She agrees to tag along. (You know you’ve found a keeper when that friend is willing to join the mundane activities of life for the sake of togetherness.)

So Charlotte and I make the rounds and head for home. At one point she asks, “It’s okay if Hans comes over, right?” Hannah is a mutual friend, former roommate, and of course invited without question. So two become three.

Hannah arrives, pulls out her knitting, and I put on a tea kettle. With chamomile in hand, Hans asks, “It’s okay if Nels comes over, right?” Erika Nelson, a mutual friend, yet another former roommate, and equally welcome without question. So three become four.

And by four, I actually mean five, because Nels brings Sam (can you guess the connection?) They walk in the door together, and the sound of girls reuniting makes me smile. Sam has been abroad for too long, and we are still getting used to having her exist outside of FaceTime. She climbs under the blanket between Charlotte and I and sits on my cold toes.

Nels & Krump

Moments later my roommate Krump walks in the door, sees the tea and cuddling happening, and joins us. Five become six.

Less than 10 minutes after arriving Sam looks at me, “Where is my cocktail?” Then she jumps up to get the process rolling.

The Blackberry Fence Hopper is new to my repertoire, and I think it is there to stay. On the one hand, it is exceptionally satisfying to muddle blackberries. On the other hand, certain women (who will remain nameless) downed their cocktail faster than I could whip up another batch. So I am confident that they were equally satisfying to drink.

With cocktails in hand, I asked for a tale of glory, for someone to share a story of grace, of beauty, of humanness, or of God at work.

Charlotte shared about a student with whom she has built
a friendship. God has placed Charlotte amongst a unique group of students to serve them, learn from them, and to be a resource. I am so encouraged by her stories because she has a grasped how to do significant work with humility.SONY DSC

When Nels started to close her eyes, it was time to call it a night. And I fell asleep so happy— happy that my night had been so gloriously coopted.


2 oz vodka

1 oz lemon juice

4 blackberries (plus a few more to garnish)

½ oz wild flower honey

Sparkling Water

Muddle the blackberries, honey, and lemon juice in the bottom of a shaker. Add the vodka and ice. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds.

Strain into a tumbler filled with ice. Top with sparkling water and garnish with blackberries and a lemon peel.

Recipe courtesy of Erik Prum and Josh Williams

Prum, Eric, and Josh Williams. Shake. New York, NY, Random House, 2013.


One Comment Add yours

  1. tipsonsips says:

    Adore this, what a great color!


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