Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Strawbaby Season

Most of the time I call them strawberries, but for one summer when he was around four, DS called them "strawbabies." And since I'm still in "weepy mom whose son has left the nest" mode, I couldn't resist the nostalgia.

This year I picked strawberries at Hurd Orchards with my four-year old friend Katie. (While Katie seems to like me just fine, she has the four-year old equivalent of a teen rock-star crush on my DD, constantly saying, "I love your daughter. She's the best one." Of course, I'm not about to argue with that!)

The day of our picking was the same day that DS left for the summer (see previous post). I rode with Katie, her sister, and her parents, who had organized a strawberry picking outing for the local gay families group.

I was totally unprepared for my emotional reaction. There were several kids there, all under the age of four. As I pushed Katie on the swing and watched all the others running around, I teared up. Believe me, not because I want more kids! I can't really even explain it...something about knowing that I'll never have that experience again, to see my little ones running around with such abandon.

Even stranger, my conversations over the next several days included the word "grandchildren"! No, kids, don't start yet!! But wow, talk about a primeval impulse...to start thinking about grandchildren the day DS leaves!!

Anyway, the good news is that I got another FO out of the day! A lot of my free time in the summer is spent picking and/or preserving fruits and veggies, and I've decided to count a day's worth of preserving as one finished object. That seems fair, right?

I made some strawberry-rhubarb preserves (rhubarb from Genesee Valley Organic Community Supported Agriculture).

Don't you love those jars? Finding them at Wegman's made me unreasonably happy, particularly striking since, although most Rochesterians love Wegman's, to me they epitomize America as the land of free consumer choice. Give me small scale food stores and farmer's markets, like Abundance Co-op or South Wedge Green Grocer's or the South Wedge Farmer's Market. I don't need twenty brands of potato chips and soda. I need good, nutritious food that is no more well-traveled than I am and has ingredients which I can pronounce.

Sad to say, as of yesterday on my sweet cherry-picking trip to Hurd, strawbaby season is already over...like four-year olds and grandchildren, every living thing has its time, and that time always seems too short to those who love them.

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