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Strawberry Fields

The weather is incredible. Today, I wore my Crocs and capri pants. Surely summer is on the way.

So here’s the story: Ting was raised here and her parents still live here. When she was pregnant, she left the big city she actually lives in and came home so her Mom could help with the baby. (Like most Chinese couples, her husband works in another city.) Well, she came home and ended up staying for 19 months!

This morning was our last time to play at the Lotus Pond with Mi Le. It seemed like such a natural thing to do. I didn’t even pull out my camera. It has not hit me that he’s going home.

This week, her husband borrowed an SUV and drove over to help get all her stuff back to the big city.

And since we had a car…and since our husbands were free…we decided to have one last adventure in search of fresh strawberries!

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We enjoyed riding in the car, but we were also quite nervous because the traffic is…never dull.

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Once we were in the countryside, we saw vendor after vendor selling strawberries on the side of the road. We talked to some farmers to see if they would allow us to pick fresh strawberries from their fields. Yes, we could pick our own. No, the price would still be the same.

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And with that, we were off!

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We met a fisherman along the way.

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The strawberry green house smelt so delicious.

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Schäfer was excellent at picking strawberries and holding the pan.

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Mi Le just ate and ate and ate.

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After we picked our batch, we went back to the roadside vendor and bought the strawberries we picked plus the strawberries he picked. We bought 22lbs. total at about .70 cents a pound. The farmers were so concerned about the amount we were buying. They kept warning us, “You must eat all of these tonight! They will be bad by morning!”

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I came home and cleaned and cleaned and cleaned strawberries. I have plans for jam, strawberry vinaigrette, and at least one pie – plus smoothies all summer long.

For supper this evening, we had a banana, strawberry, mango smoothie which went perfectly with my Crocs and capri pants.

We ended up talking with friends for two hours so all those strawberries are in the freezer until I can get to them.

Ting and I exchanged photos via jump drives.

She went to Schäfer’s room to watch him sleep and to kiss him goodnight.

I felt a tug on the inside, but I didn’t fall apart.

I’m getting too accustomed to goodbye.

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