Friday, 10 July 2015

Making memories and traditions 3 - Strawberry picking

 Just last  Saturday we were all at home with no planned agenda and no respite organized for Heni. We often go a bit stir-crazy if we have to stay in all day and so we decided to take a trip to the local garden centre to pick up some gardening supplies... it would get us all out of the house and also check a few jobs off the "to do" list. 

On the drive back home however, we noticed the PYO sign that looked rather enticing...that time of year again... already? We contemplated going home as Heni gets tired quite quickly these days (we had already been out a few hours) but we decided we couldn't miss the opportunity. By the time we might  get a chance to come back again they may all be gone... so we decided to make a unplanned stop and pick some juicy strawberries and hope Heni would play ball.

  I don't know about you but when I get in a strawberry field I feel like a big kid all over again. It brings back memories of when I was a little girl... wandering through the fields with  my mum, dad and big brother. We would pick peas, blackberries strawberries, corn... anything that happened to be in season.  I remember wading through the lofty corn fields not being able to see a thing and feeling like it was the greatest hide and seek game ever AND eating so many of the amazingly warm juicy strawberries that I felt my tummy would burst. 

I have tried through the years to replicate that experience and take my own children to do these types of  activities .... but it had been a while since we had spent some time in a  field rummaging through the beds of straw and intermingled weeds,  on our knees  looking for strawberries.

It was a lovely warm sunny day and Heni was happy (for a while) to sit in her chair at the end of the rows and take in the atmosphere while Dad filled up his basket with easy pickings.

...but lunch time was approaching and the Heni alarm soon started to go off!
Heni likes to moan every now and then when she wants or needs something ... it's her way of getting attention and her needs met. Fortunately, although we hadn't anticipated being out very long we had come prepared with food and drink for she sat in the breeze at the end of the field and was content to have her picnic lunch guarding the produce while we carried on harvesting the bounty.

 The fields were full of families and as we picked all you could hear amongst the twitter of the birds were the smaller children's squeals of delight. It seemed like every time they picked a strawberry you would hear in the distance an exclamation of  "Wow," "Cor," "Look at that",  "This ones huge".... a multitude of statements  of wonder and awe at what nature had placed before them. 

 My own children were rather quieter .....but more from the fact that I think their mouths were full of the booty! (I'd recommend you pick from a crop that hasn't been sprayed if you can!)

Daughter number 2 with the results of her labour.

 The hungry boy was in his element...surrounded by food of course!

...but non the less still experiencing delight at the abundance .... gratification in the pursuit of perfection... and the feeling of appreciation of being in natures giant free supermarket! (Well... we still had to pay for the strawberries... but you know what I mean!)

We had collected masses of fruit in quite a short period of time. The kids had enjoyed their time being kids ....and so had I!  Although tired, Heni had enjoyed her Al fresco lunch and we all had the opportunity to get out of the house and be in nature, fresh air and sunshine.  We rounded up our baskets and  headed back to the hut at the side of the field to weigh and pay for our "haul". As we navigated our way over the rows of fruit... baskets in arms, I noticed this sign.... made me think of how sometimes we think that the best fruit is not where we currently are.... that it's somewhere different... it's the "grass is greener type syndrome" that we all fall prey to at some time or another.
I think living with our disabled special kids can sometimes feel like that.... we can be looking out from our "bubbles" at "real" life going on way over the other end of the row...
 but if we look at our own metaphorical fields, we may have an abundance of blessings and harvest right where we are... we may just be blind to them.....sometimes we need to move a few weeds out of the way or even get down on our knees from time to time to really be able to see the fruit that's right beneath our nose . All the time we have had the  bounty, wonder, amazement and perfection right where we are. 

As I have navigated  life with Heni, I have had times that I have lost sight of the "fruit" and thought that the landscape looked rather barren.... but there have been many more times that I've been in awe at the bounteous blessings that are right before my eyes. At those time you can definitely  hear me saying "Wow", "Cor", "Look at that", " This one is huge".....



P.S some of the strawberries got eaten...
      some of the strawberries were put in zip lock bags in the freezer for smoothies...
      some of the strawberries were used in the elderflower cordial

P.P.S Why not go out and make some summer memories with your brood and go pick some of nature's abundance.

If you would like to read Making Memories and Traditions 2 click here
If you would like to read Making Memories and Traditions 1 click here


  1. We ove making memories too! Glad to meet you! Beautiful family:)

  2. How cool to come upon such a sweet impromptu family fun time activity! I love the heart shaped strawberry! Life with special needs kiddos can be hard and even sad at times, that's why I always try to find something to be happy about and find joy in life's ordinary, everyday, precious little moments! Thank you for sharing this lovely experience with us! It's an inspiring addition to the linkup!


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