As always it was fun watching the kids find the perfect berry to add to their stash, and eat a few in the process. Each year when I pick a berry out of the field that is warmed and ripened in the sun, I am reminded of what a delicious treat it is.
The owner of the field offered each child a small to-go container that they could fill for themselves. They really enjoyed knowing that every berry they picked would ride home in their lap, and they took great care in choosing the perfect strawberries.
I was pleased to find that many of the berries were smaller and more similar in size to what I remember eating, as a child.
This little berry patch had been carved out of the woods and the farmer knew that the animals would enjoy this strawberry drive-thru field. Although, there was evidence that small creatures had gotten around his fence barrier, I am sure that he cut his losses from deer, and maybe even non paying humans.
As we left to drive home I was reminded of a similar trip we took sixteen years ago when we were living in Louisiana. After picking berries with our older two kids we realized that the trunk of our car was full, and that the berries would need to rest on the seat between our daughter, who was two years old, and our son. We were aware that she loved to eat strawberries and her lips were already ringed with red juice when we loaded her in the car. About thirty minutes into the ride our son said, "Mom, she is eating everything she can reach." I tried in vain to stop her, but it was fairly useless. When we pulled into the driveway she had quit eating and actually fallen asleep. The hand that could reach the box of strawberries was pink, as was her chin, chest and face. I am convinced that she only quit indulging because she had eaten all that was within her grasp. As I pulled her limp body from the car seat I realized that there were no green tops littering the car. When I asked where she put them my son replied, "I told you! She was eating all that she could reach."
As we drove home this past Saturday I was not only thankful for tall fences and warm fresh strawberries, but also memories we share as a family. To this day we all know that you had better hide any strawberries you don't want to share, from our oldest daughter.