Tuesday, July 7, 2015

One Great Big Strawberry

Strawberries have pretty much been the theme of my summer.  I've eaten them, picked them, eaten them, frozen them, painted them,eaten them...  

I've been wanting to do an oversize painting, so this worked out nicely.  You can tell by the photo that I snapped in my studio that this one is juuuusssstttt a little bit bigger than the last strawberry painting.  I have no idea whether anyone will want to buy this one or not.  But, in the mean time, I'm going to enjoy this big beauty on my own wall.

I shared a strawberry memory with each of my first two strawberry paintings, so I'll share another.  

Below is the e-mail I sent to my nieces, Beverly and Amy, after I visited a local strawberry farm.

Amy & Bev,

This morning Ron & I went to a strawberry farm. 
I hadn’t been to or even thought about a strawberry farm since......

It’s funny how the oddest things trigger long forgotten, yet vivid memories.

When I was about nine years old, your dad brought your mom home.  She was beautiful. She was so daring.  She wore hip-huggers, had her ears pierced, and said “dad gum.” Wow... and grandpa let her stay in our house!! :)  She made me a little nervous, but I loved her.

When I was about 10 they got married, and I got to spend a week with them every summer. One year I stayed a little longer to help them  out.  She was pregnant with you.  It must have around July 4th because I remember going to my first really big fireworks show. It was so hot!  And, she was huge.

Your dad went to work every day, so your mom and I hung out.  One day she wanted to go to a strawberry farm.  I pulled a little flat wagon, and she waddled along beside me.  Poor thing was so swollen her feet wouldn’t fit in shoes; she she wore these funny flip-flops. We picked and picked... Then she got overheated... Well, looking back... duh... It was 100 degrees... She was 8 months pregnant with two babies... and she was bending over to pick! I got her to sit down between the rows... No shade in a strawberry field... No such thing as a water bottle back then... She was determined that she’d be ok, but was dizzy and just “needed a few minutes.”  I let her sit and finished filling our buckets.  Then there was another problem... we couldn’t get her big self up off the ground.  By that point we were laughing so hard. I was pulling; she was rolling to one side then the other, feet slipping out from under her... We finally did get her up and back to the car.  I don’t think I was 16 yet because  it was a big deal that I wasn’t really a driver yet, but I drove us home.  That was another comedy of errors because I was so short, I could barely reach the pedals... compound that with the fact that she had to have the seat back so far because she  (you guys) were sticking out so far that her belly was to the steering wheel. 

I don’t really remember the end of this story... I guess we made it home, put her on the couch in the air conditioning, and had lots of strawberries.  Then she had two little baby girls a month later who grew up to be beautiful women and lived happily ever after.

A memory that had been locked safely away for 35 years... unlocked today by a strawberry patch...

I just thought you might like me to share it with you.

Aunt Helen

Click "One Great Big Strawberry" if you'd like to purchase this painting.


  1. Lovely painting, and a fun memory!

    1. Thanks, Mrs. Pepper! ... a memory worth remembering.... :)

  2. That's great that you share a memory with your paintings. Strawberries were coming out of our ears this year, but I still love them.

    1. Renee, I've discovered that I paint better when I have a connection. I haven't run out of strawberry memories yet! More to come! :)