Family & Strawberries

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At times we may sound like a broken record. Yes, we love living in the South, and we'll continue to make sure that it's well known. Living here hasn't only introduced us to knew places and new faces, it's introduced us, and really more me, to a very deep rooted concept. Which is this: The importance of family can never be underestimated and each member of the family should be cherished. It's certainly not that I underestimate my family or that I don't love them ( I do, very much so.) However, I've noticed that in the South it's more than loving your family and caring for them. It's a devotion unlike anything else on earth. At first I couldn't understand when someone I knew here would mourn, for days, the loss of distant relative. I wasn't insensitive, I just didn't understand. I didn't have the same connection to an equivalent family member. 

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Now ten years in and I feel like I'm starting to understand, I'm staring to realize that you're born into a family and that family is the only one you'll ever have. The members of one's family, like them or not, and I do like mine very much, are there to stay. It's a relationship that should be cherished and one that should be extremely important to us. I know want Elleanor to feel that same way, that we belong to each other and that we can lean on one another when times get difficult. I want her relish the time she gets with her grandparents, her cousins, her aunts, uncles and anyone else we may call family.

We share a bond unlike anything else, and as Elleanor grows I want her to feel that bond. I want her to see how the integrity of a strong family can never be torn down, it can never be broken and that we love one another unconditionally. I want her to feel and know that we will always love her and she will always have our support. There may be times that she makes poor decisions, times that the choices she makes have unfortunate consequences; yet, we will love her. And the rest of her family, no matter how distant they may seem, will love her too. 

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Going to pick strawberries may seem like a mundane thing but for us that couldn't be further from the reality. It's time we get to spend as a family, enjoying the things that this world has to offer. It also allows us to reflect on our time together, we have busy schedules and any chance we get in each other's company is a true blessing that we have to take advantage of. We'll enjoy eating these strawberries raw, we'll also freeze a bunch and make shakes and preserves. You also may have noticed an abundance of green strawberries -- that's for pickling. Yes, pickling. They're amazing, so don't knock them till you try them. 

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Whatever you like to do as a family, do it with thanksgiving and with the acknowledgment that with our families at our side we can get through anything this world can throw at us. In a time when so much wants to see us undone, when so much hate and evil exist, hold on to your family. Hold them tightly and please make sure they know how much they mean to you. 

- Phil