(The porch wants painting, I know. I'm hoping that's on the agenda for this summer.)
This time last spring, we planted 48 strawberry seedlings that were no taller than my thumb. We were told by the friendly older Amish man who sold them to us that we should pinch off the blossoms that first season so that the plants would put more energy into their leaves. This would make for a bumper crop next season (now). We did what we were told. That man surely knew what he was talking about because our strawberry bed is filled to the brim with berries. Annie wakes every morning and takes her wooden berry basket out for an early picking. We've been having berries for breakfast for the last week and we couldn't be happier. I think after the shell peas are done this season, I am going to plant another bed of strawberries for twice the fun next year.
We have a friend who redesigns kitchens and he gave us a Sub Zero upright freezer (that someone no longer wanted because it was the wrong color for their new kitchen) for the cost of one homemade pie. Can you imagine? Me neither. We are now the proud owners of a new freezer which is already filling up with produce and other goodies.
The aforementioned shell peas are growing like gangbusters. The girls have been picking them every day but most are going into their mouths rather than into the freezer. I did manage to put away a quart sized bag before they ate them all. The other night we sat on the porch, rocked and shelled peas together.
I found a treasure at the antique show at our fairgrounds last weekend. Have you ever heard of a Mammy rocker? It is a two or three person rocking chair with a little gate behind which you can lay your baby/toddler and rock them to sleep. They were popular in the Civil War era and I have wanted one since I first became a mother. The gate is removable if two bigger people want to rock instead of rocking a baby. I outfitted it behind the gate with a little pillow and a woolen blanket for Mae to lay comfortably.
When I found it at the antique show and saw how little they wanted for it, I welled up with tears which seems silly, I know. But the thought of being able to rock Mae to sleep on the porch on warm summer nights while singing her some lullabies really choked me up. I hope she has fond memories of that green Mammy rocker and her Mama shelling peas while she rocked off to sleep.