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Chuck Hinman: IJMA. The Wild Strawberry Patch

Chuck Hinman: The Wild Strawberry Patch (Among My Souvenirs). Chuck wouldn't be surprised to find remnants of that wild-strawberry patch -- if not in reality, then by pleasant memories "among my souvenirs."
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By Chuck Hinman

The Wild Strawberry Patch (Among My Souvenirs)

The human mind is an awesome thing, not appreciated as it should be until something happens to it. I am keenly aware how precious it is because I witnessed first hand my dear wife Connie lose her mind totally over a 15-year time span. It was diagnosed as Alzheimer's Disease, a cruel destroyer of memories each one carefully packed as a precious jewel in one's personal treasure chest, the mind, for enjoyment just on a whim. Connie was denied what so many of us take for granted -- our precious memories.

Here's just one example of what came to my mind to enjoy in the middle of last night when I wasn't doing a very good job of sleeping.

Walking along a country dirt road

My mind was transformed to seventy-five years ago. I was walking along a country dirt road about half a mile south of our farm home in southeastern Nebraska near the Kansas line, near Liberty, Nebraska, to be exact. I was about 10 years old.

It was an overcast, coolish early summer afternoon. My eyes were drawn to the reddish color of a wild strawberry patch along the side the road. I couldn't believe my eyes! I had never seen the patch before even though I had been by that spot many times, but certainly not when the berries were in their prime.

Stuffing myself with a rare treat

My first thought was to sit down and stuff myself with a rare treat from God's bounty. After grazing for awhile, I realized I wasn't making a dent in what was there. So I removed my knit cap and filled it with ripe, wild strawberries. I could hardly wait to show my fortune to Mom at home. It didn't take her long to whip-up some biscuit dough shortcake. She engaged my help in stemming the berries and adding some sugar.

Grandpa and Grandma Mouser were spending Sunday with us and they shared in our rare treat of good old Nebraska wild-strawberry shortcake with whipped cream! Truly as the state song lyrics exclaim -- "There is no place like Nebraska!"

Looking again for that berry patch

The next time I return to Liberty to visit my brother's widow, Lindy Hinman and family, I intend to walk out that country road with my cane, looking for that berry patch.

I wouldn't be surprised if seventy-five years later there are still remnants of that wild-strawberry patch -- if not in reality, then by pleasant memories "among my souvenirs."

Thank you Lord, for allowing me to enjoy my storehouse of precious memories... and to be able to share them with so many friends.

Written by Chuck Hinman. Emailed: Saturday, 27 December 2008 and Saturday, 6 June 2009. (This is an edited combination of the two versions done by Robert Stone)

This story was posted on 2013-06-02 05:23:40
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