Memoir: Strawberries

Years ago, before my momma passed, I found wild strawberries as I went to check the spring. Of course, I forgot all about checking the water and ran to get a butter bowl from the house. An hour later, I had about a third of a bowl of uncapped berries, enough for a little pot of jam to go with pancakes.

Pleased with my find, I took them to show momma. She tasted a few, commented on how rare they were now, then burst my proud little bubble.

She told me that the summer before I started kindergarten, she and my granny picked enough to make 98 pints of freezer jam. For those that have never eaten wild strawberries, a huge one is about the size of your thumbnail. I took my now pitiful little bowl of strawberries and went home.

I remember picking strawberries with Momma and Granny. The most important thing was don’t spill them. That got you yelled at and/or swatted on the butt. Also, you had to watch for snakes, bees nests, and poison ivy, not necessarily in that order. It was hot and scratchy out in the weeds, so a long sleeved shirt was required.

Now the pastures are overgrown and the power line cuts are sprayed with herbicide. Fields of wild strawberries are a thing of the past. A few still grow around my house. I can pick a a couple as I walk by, and remember. Most days, that’s enough.

*disclaimer: photos are not mine.


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