I take her down to the strawberry patch the moment the sun peaks out of the clouds. It’s still drizzling, just a little bit, but her mother will be here in a few minutes, and she’ll cry all the way home if she doesn’t get a few of ‘Grandma’s strawberries’.
It’s her favorite part of these visits. And my favorite too.
The big patch takes up half my garden now. The leaves have spread out, runners and new plants extending the borders until I barely have room for my flowers anymore. But I don’t mind. The strawberries have always been my favorite anyway.
She runs down the rows, her little feet already muddy to her ankles. She leaves footprints in the muck, but I don’t mind. I like to see them when I come out here in the evenings to water. It reminds me that this old garden still has a use.
It’s getting harder to plant everything now, especially since Harold passed. He used to do all of the digging and heavy work. Now I hire a neighbor boy to do it, and manage the rest myself. My daughter tells me I should let it grow over, she says it’s too much work for one person, especially a woman my age, but I won’t do it.
I need the strawberries.
Kindi crouches down, searching under the leaves for the bright red treasures she likes so much. Her feet are muddy and her fingers are already red and sticky with juice. I’ll have to clean her up a bit before her mother comes for her. But I don’t mind.
She offers me one, but I shake my head. I don’t like strawberries, really. Not at all. They’re only here for her. So that she’ll always remember Grandma’s strawberries.