Summertime is fruit time as far as I’m concerned. And while this watermelon came from Mexico and the mango came from God knows where and they both grow there year-round no matter what, Stew did get me these local North Carolina strawberries. Their presence on my plate signals that despite it being April and despite me still taking finals and also despite the fact that I don’t know the actual first day of summer… summer is, in fact, here.
I missed strawberry season last year–what with the quitting my job and going back to school and moving and you know. But this year I am determined to pick my own. My mom used to grow strawberries in her garden and she took us to pick at bigger farms, too. Come to think of it, we had a lot of harvest-centric outings as kids: apples, strawberries, blueberries… CORN. Oh man, nothing is better than making a stop at the corn stand. You know, the kind where no on is there and you just leave your money in a box on the counter. The honor system at its finest.
I didn’t love Illinois while I was there. But once I was in college 850 miles away I realized that what I missed most about my former home was the sky. Some people love mountains. Some people love the coast. I guess most people don’t think the flatlands have all that much to offer in terms of terrain. But what they don’t realize–and what I didn’t until I was gone–is that the beauty of the midwest isn’t about the landscape. It’s about the way the low flat open fields bring the sky right down to you.