I grew up in NE Ohio, near PA, and if there were any strawberry fields up there, they were probably toxic from all the pollution of the factories. When I moved to South Carolina for college, I heard tails of this illusive strawberry patch, where you could pick your very own strawberries. My heartstrings had been plucked and my imagination envisioned the bright sunny day in a warm field sprinkled with dots of red, luscious strawberries. I'd have my stylish sunglasses, flip flops, cute jeans and a tank, and a sweet woven basket hanging from my elbow... it may even have had a bow on it.
But there was a problem. I was only in SC at the time for college, and strawberry season was in the summer. But I would be there for years to come. Not to worry, right? Well....
summer 2002: Stayed with my sister in FL
2003: Summer mission program through Denver, CO
2004: I DID stay in SC for half of this summer, working at a child care, and the rest in Canada. This may have been my golden moment that I missed. : (
2005 AND 2006: working in NC at the camp
2007: Another golden opportunity missed. I had started living there this year, but worked all summer and was focused on working on my growing relationship with the love of my life... We had too much going on to think about strawberry fields.
2008: The LAST chance in SC. But we had our wedding two days after school was out where I taught, and foot surgery 2 weeks after the honeymoon, leaving me laid up for 6 weeks. Then our great move to Louisville, KY.... They have strawberry fields there, right??
YES! They do! In fact, we have an amazing farm an hour from us, with all kinds of fruits in different seasons, for your very own picking. Not to mention the pumpkin patch in the fall! (Which we did go to this past year with Maddie.) However....
2009: working at a summer camp once again
2010: 9 months pregnant when the season started, and some friends went (one of the ladies, also pregnant, was due a few days before us, and ended up going into labor later that day) but I had to work.... so I wasn't able to go. This summer was filled with new baby experiences, and we scheduled a trip to go with my mom before the season was out, but I had some healing issues and we just didn't make it. This is the closest I have come to that little mental picture....
So, some of you may remember my new years resolution for 2001... to save $10 every month until June, and go strawberry picking. Not that I would need $60 worth of strawberries, but I could get them if I wanted them!! And I planned on using some of that money to buy cans and look up recipes and ways to can the strawberries. We were going to have strawberries to last all the way until next season! I became more determined then ever to go this year.... And then life stepped in. Aaron has been offered and accepted this amazing job, of which I am beyond thrilled and excited about, calling us to move to the middle of nowhere West Texas. It too about a month of excitement and planning before I suddenly realized what this meant to my strawberry dreams.... According to the farm's website, strawberry picking starts the week AFTER we move to Texas... where there will be no strawberries waiting for me.
I find myself mourning this event. I did have two summers where it was practical and available, and I overlooked them. Too busy with life and thinking there would be more summers to come. TWO of my TEN summers were all I had... and I didn't know it. So now, I write this to "let go" if you will. I have come to the resolution that I will not pick strawberries with my little basket with the bow and my stylish sunglasses (which I don't have anyway). I will instead, go live life with my family, which is much more important and deer to me, and just maybe, some day, this simple pleasure in life will stumble across my path once again. Until that day, I will have the faint picture of myself, in the field, with my little girl with red stained lips, swinging a basket with a bow, running through that warm field sprinkled with dots of red, luscious strawberries, my sweet Aaron and I, hand in hand, close behind, just soaking it in... and eating a few strawberries along the way.
...and if you do live near strawberry picking fields... don't overlook their blessing. Indulge.
Tidbits of Us
- I am the wife of an amazing man, seeking hard after God's will for his family, and the mother of 3 beautiful little girls and a 4th baby lost in pregnancy, who all pull at my heartstrings continually. Life has been a whirlwind since our wedding in 2008, including seminary, adventures in camp ministry, missions in Kosovo, and countless moves and God's fingerprints are throughout it all. We are blessed and encouraged that He is equipping us continually for the ministry ahead and pray we are great stewards to all he has entrusted to us, in family, friends, ministry, finances, and of course, the gospel.