Friday, May 23, 2014


The middle of May come never come soon enough for us.  First, and most important, it marked the end of the school year, and the beginning of freedom.  It also meant the strawberries were ripe.

There was  a strawberry farm just a few miles from where we lived, with acres and acres of strawberries.  The owners, having about a two-week window to harvest all the beautiful strawberries, hired everyone who was willing to help pick them, including ratty-haired little younguns. We were paid five cents a quart, and on a good day, we could make two dollars. We were free and needed cash, so we were excited to go and start picking.

The excitement lasted until after lunch time.  Having coins in our pocket, we went to a nearby country store for lunch.  We would get RC Colas, not because they were better but because they were bigger. We could buy a bologna sandwich (bologna was sold by the slice; you could get a thick one if you were willing to pay) and some Ding-Dongs.  Paying for these delicious goodies usually took all the money we had made that morning.

We came home from our first sunny day in the strawberry fields with pinkish hands and a sunburn.  No one had heard of sunscreen, so we just endured it and moved on.  We had all had fun (our friends picked, too, so it was primarily a social event) and some of us had funds to spend the next time we went to town.

I pick my strawberries at Sam's Club now.  I can't pick up a container of red goodness without thinking about those days on the strawberry farm. Yes, I miss those days, but things change, and we can still have our strawberry pie.