Updated: Sep 22, 2021
© Clover Journesy 9/14/2021
The sun seemed to shine brighter this morning as it peeked its rays into the bedroom window, interrupting Candice and her husband James's sleep. Candice nudged James for him to get ready for work, while she went into the kitchen to prepare theirs and the kid’s breakfast.
The family is new to Washington State, and recently married a few months earlier. James, is a loving man. He loved Candice and her two children. Words were not needed to convey Candice's love for James, it was well pronounced in her body language. You could always find all of them together, at the park, by a lake fishing, or in the mountains exploring nature. James’s father, big Jim, offered his son a job and a chance to become foreman of his solo ran company, McMurray Concrete. He and his crew formed and poured sidewalks north to south on Capitol Blvd.
Candice and the kids would get bored sitting at home waiting for James to get-off, work. Candice did what she could to entertain them. She would have picnics on the lawn, and wet them with a hose as they ran screaming and laughing. There was a community pool she took the kids to and felt a little uncomfortable, but not enough to deny her children from enjoying themselves. They were the only African American family represented.
Candice wanted to teach her daughter, three, how to swim. Her daughter afraid of getting into the water, and what must have seemed to those little eyes, an ocean. At the constant urging from Candice, her daughter jumped into her arms and her hair, which she had plenty of, blossomed into a chia pet. The little one scared herself. Candice thought it was her unexpected bravery that caused her to cry, at which time a little white girl comes over and politely asked? “What kind of people are you?”
Candice, glances over at the child’s mother as to say “really?” The mother, looked away in the opposite direction to avoid her disdain. Candice being her sometime silly self said, “we’re from Mars.” The little girl runs back to her brother and says, “they’re from Mars.” He brother, who may have been around Candice’s son’s age of 6, famously laughs and says, “Black people aren’t from Mars.” The mother must have become concerned, she called them to her gathered their things and left. That was the last time Candice took her children to the pool.
Candice asked her husband, “James, can you ride with your dad today? I want to use the car and take the kids exploring.”
“Sure babe, where are you going?”
“I don’t know that why it’s called,” raising her fingers to make quotation marks, “exploring.”
He laughed and said, “OK, don’t get lost where I cannot find you.” After tying his work boots and grabbing his lunch. He kissed them goodbye.
“Alright, kiddies today, we are going on an adventure.”
“Where to mommy,” her son asked.
“I don’t know, lets just drive and see what Olympia offers. Eat your breakfast, we’ll get dressed and them we’ll go.” His sister was sitting at the table sucking on her thumb and could not care less.
After driving about twenty minutes taking twist and turns through the unknown, Candice sees a large farm with people, standing at a tent, some in the field, and cars lined up on the side of the road. “OOO, guys look over there.” The sign read. “Pick Your Own Strawberries by the Basket.” Candice slowed her car and thought. James just washed the car. Now it’s going to get dirty with all this dust flying. We pulled in and got out of the car. Candice took her daughter by the hand and her son walked alongside of her.
“I thought we would have to pick our own, but they’re already wrapped in baskets.” She asked her son, “do you want to pick them or get the ones already wrapped?”
He said to her delight, “already wrapped.”
“OK.” A lady was standing under the tent with a tray of the biggest, reddest strawberries she had ever seen. Candice looked at her son and said, “you can’t find strawberries like this in the store.”
“Mom, she wants to give them to us.” Candice looked up, and the tray was in her face. The lady smiled and said, “a sample.”
“Thank you.” Candice took two.
“These are the size of a small apple.” Candice said, handing one to her son, and he wasted no time taking a bite. “Mom, these are sweet and juicy.” Candice took a bite, closed her eyes and said, “mmm these are delicious.” She bit a piece to give her daughter. Her little face frowned, and then turned into a smile.
Candice said I’ll take two baskets, each held ten giant strawberries and the total cost $6.00. “You can’t beat that with a stick.”
“Mommy, are you going to make a pie?” her son asked.
“I’ll see baby.” “Yea, make it like the black berry one, it was mm, mm, good.” They got into the car and headed back home.
“Mommy, this was fun, let’s do this again.”
Click picture for recipe
Candice, was driving, and driving, looking for the turn she made coming into the farm. “Where is the turn? Ah, maybe I better go back the other way.” Candice turned the car around and headed in the opposite direction. She passed the farm where they were picking strawberries. “OK, here is the turn.” It took her in front of the granary. She did not see that before, and stopped the car and said, “kids I think we’re lost.
“Were lost?” said her son.
“I can’t find the turn; I took to come in here.”
“Mommy, ask the lady that gave us the strawberries.”
“I think I better, thank you, sweetheart.”
Candice turns the car around, drives to the side of the road, and walks over to the lady and asks, “Can you show me how to get to Capital Blvd.”
“Yes,” said the lady, giving Candice hand directions. She went back to the car and drove straight for about ten minutes. Soon she began seeing traffic, and a sense of calm returned.
“Mommy, are we going home now?” asked her son.
“No, the lady said she could not help me and we will just have to be lost?”
Her son cried no, mommy we can’t get lost, then her daughter started crying for whatever reason.
Candice, started laughing and said, ‘hey, I was just kidding. We will be home in a minute and we’re going to drive by where James works.”
“Mommy, that’s not funny.” Candice, says, “I’m sorry and looks at her daughter, and says baby, mommy's sorry, she should not have scared you.”