Just remember—Think back to some of the moments in time that were so truly amazing for you. When you were going through an experience that you just cannot understand until later when you remember that particular experience. The people you were with and what you were doing is so special and just makes you realize life is so wonderful! It can be a smell or a picture that takes you back. Next time your mind is stimulated let it go! Go back to that very intimate time. Let the grooves in your brain soak it in. Never forget what God and life has offered you! Never forget the people that cross your life path and bring blessings. And look for those types of memories ahead!


The dim lights of the kitchen did not need to be bright.

The raised windows allowed the summer breeze to cool the room.

Along with the breeze drifted the sweetest aroma one could possibly experience.

The lush, sweet strawberries gave off the most intoxicating smell

As the cap was popped from the fruit.

The smell was so potent I can still recall that exact scent today.


And when the caps were cut, the gases became stronger.

But you know it wasn’t just the sweet aroma that was so captivating,

It was also the company and the atmosphere.

Mama, Daddy, Mrs. Nell, Mr. Wal, and myself would join around the big table to cap.

Occasionally Sis, our neighbor, or Mama Hick, my grandmother would join us.

The table was always big enough for others to cap.


Mrs. Nell and Mr. Wal were capping just as fast as Mama and Daddy.

Mrs. Nell was found most days with long, elegant gloves cascading up her arms.

Like a model out of Vogue in the 50’s.

Bracelets adorned her wrist while she elegantly puffed her slender cigarette.

She could not have weighed one hundred pounds when she was wet.

Her hair always appeared managed even when tossed in the berry patch.

She and Em taught me to be a lady and a gardener all at the same time.


Mr. Wal, formally Wallace, who was only called this by Mrs. Nell, held his pipe tightly in his mouth.

But he always had a pleasant smile underneath that pipe.

Mr. Wal moved at the pace of poet, contemplating everything he observed in nature.

If I had ever met Aldo Leopold, one of our great conservationists, I would say Mr. Wal was his twin.

He would especially pay attention to the plants, how and where they were growing, and their fruits.

Mrs. Nell and Mr. Wal lived in a stately log cabin sitting amongst trees and fields.

Beside the cabin stretched the strawberry patch.




Before capping every year we would join them in picking the beautiful red fruit.

Then all would gather another night in our kitchen for the capping.

The capping was so exciting!

It was such a treat to participate in the capping process.

Preparing the fruit and placing these delicious fruits into bags that would stay in the freezer until a winter day when we all needed some fresh scent and sunshine.


As the capping got faster, the laughter and conversation became louder!

You would hear the most wonderful stories.

Some stories cause you to sigh deeply while others cause you to laugh out loud.

The whole atmosphere provided a contentment that you cannot describe.

The experience was sensual and joyful!

Whoever knew capping a rich, decadent strawberry could bring a rich, decadent life!

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

Thank you for stepping back in time with me this week. I appreciate you sharing in my experiences. I still to this day can smell a strawberry and remember those wonderful evenings! Find your wonderful life and relish those fabulous times!  But most importantly remember those wonderful souls in your life!



Family and Traditions


One thought on “Capping

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