Throughout my childhood, I wandered up and down this road countless times, but during a short season each year a treat awaited me at the end. Each June, the strawberry stand would appear (I never knew exactly how), and my sisters and I would make a bee-line for the little white building...change jingling in our pockets. We would painstakingly pick out the perfect pint box full of the reddest, most beautiful strawberries we could find.
My sister, Shannon, often rode her bike down to the stand to 'help' the owners sell strawberries. I'm sure she chatted up a storm and charmed each customer into buying even more.
As we grew older, the time came to pick strawberries in the fields. We did acquire some spending money, but I'm not sure it was worth it. A few times, after a tiring day of bending down to pick strawberries for hours in the hot sun, we'd hitch a ride with the truck taking flats of fruit to the strawberry stand. Then we would walk the road home. It was a gravel and tar road. During the hot weather, small bubbles of tar would form on the surface. I can still hear the tiny little 'crackle' sound they would make as we stepped on them. I can feel the hot road under my bare feet.
So, call it 'buying local' or 'buying the best' (which fresh-picked Oregon strawberries certainly are!), I call it 'buying sentimental.'