John Lennon may have had a soft spot in his heart for the phrase strawberry fields forever, but my strawberry image suggests a different twist. Here’s what I wrote about it for a blog at this beautiful season of celebrating summer and the strawberry fields of Michigan in June 2008.
‘Strawberry Solstice Forever’
I’m not sure where I came up with my catch phrase strawberry solstice forever; I think I was corresponding with a friend once, regarding June strawberry fever in Michigan, and I signed off with that. My equivalent, I guess, of a toast to strawberries. Somehow that sounds better than Cheers to strawberries!
It’s a fever forever for our family because of living in the vicinity of a favorite strawberry farm, DeGroot’s Strawberries (owned by Marsha and Roy DeGroot) near Fowlerville, MI. It’s a fever because we get that “strawberry fever” every June about the time of our anniversary and our daughter’s birthday. It’s forever, because after three decades or so….well, it’s become an entrenched family tradition to go pick berries.
Not only has DeGroot’s been our favorite strawberry picking place, there’s also the subject of favorite ways to fix strawberry shortcake once we have them home.
Which do you prefer? Biscuits? Or pound cake? Talking to our daughter the night of our anniversary…thinking of restaurant strawberry desserts…we mulled the subject over again. That’s a tradition, too. Debating about which way we like strawberries the best.
She called to wish us Happy Anniversary. They were on their way to a 60s rock concert (near their Maryland home) thinking we’d know the band. We didn’t. The strawberry issue surfaced, as usual.
We’re for biscuits; our son-in-law’s favorite is pound cake. She laughed because she had to admit that she asks before she orders strawberry shortcake when eating out. “Do you serve them over biscuits or pound cake?”
Well, as I’m writing this, the summer solstice is upon us. June…you wish the long days of sunlight would go on forever. You wish strawberry season would go on forever…not just for a couple of weeks out of the year.
Of course, that makes the season special…the beginning of summer. And traditions continue…for that June birthday person that requests strawberry shortcake to mark the special day.
When our kids were growing up, the storybook character of Strawberry Shortcake was popular. Now it seems to have resurfaced for another generation. And I’m glad. Not because I have grandchildren. I don’t. But because I love the creativity of Strawberry Shortcake. I love the essence of fun her character embodies. I’ve been thinking of becoming a Strawberry Shortcake collector, now that she’s on the market again. Just to remind myself to not take myself too seriously.
Bright, plump, red, juicy, sweet…sensational…heavenly…strawberries…aahhh.
I wish you pleasant dreams of strawberries – biscuits, or pound cake – and, here’s to Strawberry Solstice Forever.
* * *
Three years later, June strawberry season brings back all the memories again. This time, it begins as I arrive home from a long road trip, on the evening of our anniversary. My husband had received the u-pick reminder card in the mail that week. He was gone when I pulled into the driveway. I’d forgotten it was berry time, and was curious as to where he’d gone. Seems he’d hurriedly rushed over to the strawberry patch after work to pick some of the beautiful gems.
Strawberry solstice, strawberry fields, strawberry anniversary. Oh, how lucky to have June to celebrate the sweetness of strawberries and raise a glass to the years together.
Cheers to Michigan; cheers to strawberries; cheers to a beautiful summer ahead. But, better yet, strawberry solstice forever; or…may the joys of summer always live in your heart.