18 Lbs Later


We went strawberry picking today.

18 lbs of strawberry picking.

I don’t think either one of us thought we were getting that much, there was the overwhelming urge to truck along the fields, bending and plucking and searching out underneath the green leaves for the sweet, fat, juicy berries, and the desire to fill the box outweighed everything else.

Until we took them up to the register.


I blame the size of the box and the glee in the fields.

Eyes bigger than our bellies.

And the bellies of three boys and one papa.

So as I type my friend is putting up strawberry jam.

The kitchen smells like heaven and as the night closes in, the warm scent lush in my nose, seduces me to dreaming of Wisconsin living.

The green, oh, the green.

The rain has been heavy here and by this time in the summer the temperatures should be higher, but it’s been cool and damp and wet.

Not raining so much as just overcast and thunder blue clouds thick with moisture looming over the country.

Makes for intense green, the verdant hills and trees and bushes rich in chlorophyll a back drop to memories and flashes to my grandparents in Lodi and my growing up in Windsor Wisconsin.

My friend and I stopped at a garden shop on the way back from strawberry picking and as we hopped out of the car I was overwhelmed with a scent I can only recall from my grandmother’s back yard.

I think it was the trumpeter vine or a kind of lily.

Whatever it was, I smelled it, and I had not smelled it since the last time I saw my grandfather alive in Lodi before the family had to place him in the assisted care home he eventually passed on in.

I was transported to the back yard of my grandparents home in Lodi and all the time I spent running around that back yard; the times spent with my grandmother picking raspberries off the vines in the garden, forefront in my mind.

I had raspberries all last week before I left for the trip, so grandma was on my mind, and now, being here, though it is not the land of my family, it is still Wisconsin, and it is not all that different.

The difference is the accent in the voices.

There’s a little more north in it.

Then too there is the unfamiliar and yet deeply familiar look of the land.

The trees, the grass, the rolling hills.

I wish I were more mobile.

In fact, slight sidebar, I am a little concerned about how not very mobile I am.

I got exhausted and perhaps in that exhaustion, the memories surfaced faster, thicker, harder.

I broke into tears on the down town walk back from pursuing a vintage antique mall and meandering through down town Hudson.

I don’t know that it was so much from the walking, but more so from the lack of sleep.

I realized after some time sitting still and elevating my ankle, that I have not slept that much the last two days and that added to my hobble about.

I am also wondering if perhaps the time for the boot has come to be removed.  The boot seems more a hinderance at this point than a help.

I shall see in the morning.

I suspect I will go to bed earlier than the 2 a.m. I lay down last night.

I suspect I may sleep longer than the 7:30 a.m. I got up.


I did drift in and out lazy like for an hour and then joined my friends brood in her bed where we all cuddled and snuggled and drank some coffee planning out the day.

It was a good day.

A lovely day.

Lunch on the back deck area of the restaurant we went to was overlooking the St. Croix, the rain spat down  a few times on us, but the view was more arresting than the rain.

The company damn good too.

The town is gearing up for Booster days, the carnival opens tomorrow at 4p.m.

Not certain what the days plans are for the morrow.

I just plan on sleeping a bit more.

Eating more strawberries too.

I suspect I will have more memories from childhood dance around in my head as I catch the land rolling past me or smell the remnants of a late-blooming peony bush, these are lovely things.

My friend asked, as I suspect she always may, if I would consider moving back, or if San Francisco is my home.

I always feel the same thing, a mix of nostalgia, a deep need for the smells I associate with my child hood growing up, and also a desperate need to return back to the city by the Bay.

I could move here.

Were I laden with money to buy a house and a car and maintain them, a career of sorts that I could do here that would sustain me.

Perhaps I might.

The houses are beautiful, the land is comforting.



I am spoiled.

I love my San Francisco and don’t know that I could bear to part with her.

For despite the memories, of which there are many, and despite the depth of my love from my friend, (the depths are deep) I have too, an abiding love in my California roots.

I was born there and my first memories are from the Bay Area.

If memory serves than and home is where the heart is, San Francisco’s sweet lulling song will continue to wile me into its bosom of fog horn and sea air.

I will always be a Californian girl with Midwestern roots.

I get to have the best of both worlds.

Fortunate for me.

Both places have strawberries.





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