I was six or maybe seven.  Our school was out for the summer.  What was one of the first things my brother and sister and I did?   Was it sit in front of the television and watch or favorite tv programs the rest of the day?  Or maybe we ran to a friends house to play.  No, we did neither of those.   My brother and sister were now old enough to go pick strawberries.  We lived in “the boonies” as I affectionately call them.  Our nearest neighbors were about a quarter of a mile away.  We had open fields ripe with strawberries.  So we all went out with containers to pick those plump, succulent red morsels of goodness.  As I recall, we didn’t bring many berries home.  Maybe enough for a pie, but we sure ate enough of that ripe, red fruit.  In fact, it became a tradition.  We did it every summer for many other years.   Today, I was looking at pictures I wanted to save and back up.  I had to smile at some of them and the memories that they brought back.   Flying kites with my children even though we never did get them to soar very high.  There were pictures of our oldest daughter at a LIFE conference for teens.   I looked at the date and realized it was eleven years ago.  I could hardly believe it.   Our family has changed so much since then.  We have gone from six to four in the house.   It caused me to think of the legacy that I am leaving my children.  Do they remember home as a safe place full of love and laughter?  My goal has been to create memories, not nightmares.  It’s something I am still learning.  Sometimes, we choose whether a memory is good or bad.  We once had a car that was stuck between two huge hills.  The car was awful and had no power to get up either side of the hill no matter what we did.  I think we might still be there if it hadn’t been for a pickup truck that pulled us up the hill.  It was not funny then, now I laugh every time I think about it.    I chose to see the humor in it and let it be a good memory.  I am also finding that memories sometimes have to be intentional,  planned.  In other words turn the ordinary into extraordinary.   Do some off the wall things once in a while.  Nothing that will get the police called but things that will make others wonder.    I hope my children do not remember a cranky mother who was always upset but rather one who loved them has the gentleness of God evident in her life.

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