One thousand strawberries was a dream. 45 years later, it came true.

I am very excited to tell my story to the Strawberry Moon this month.

Strawberries have been a big part of my life since I was five years old. It started on a trip to New York for a bar mitzvah. 

My father had driven our family in his light blue Ford, with the reclining front seat, from our home in Virginia for the occasion. I was a little giddy that I got more time in the reclining seat than my older brother. I mention this only because I was a little full of myself which may have contributed to my actions when we were having lunch at the Old Lindy’s restaurant, a favorite place of my parents when they lived in New York.

On the way into the restaurant, I stopped at the glass display window to look at the treats and fell in love with a bowl of big beautiful strawberries. When the waiter asked what I wanted for dessert I said, with great authority,  “I wish to have a dish of a thousand strawberries,” picturing the ones I had seen in the window. My estimate was only off by about 975 strawberries.

Although the waiter did bring me a rather large dish of the red berries, it would be 45 years later before I actually got what I ordered. My husband who had heard the story – everyone in the family had heard the story – decided to make my wish come true on my 50th birthday. 

He secretly engineered The Night of a Thousand Strawberries, a surprise party with invitations that promised guests the meaning would be revealed on the big night.  

After dinner George called on my mother, the only living witness to what happened at Lindy’s, to tell the story. Following applause, the dessert was rolled out to our deck. One thousand big red strawberries were artfully displayed with more things to dip strawberries in than I ever knew existed.

And yes there were exactly one thousand strawberries, verified by our wonderful friends who catered the party and had fun counting them in front of George. Every birthday since has included a strawberry delight, a tradition I continued even after George passed away.

A bowl of strawberries will be waiting when Mr. Moon parks himself outside my garden window for his monthly check-in.

Email patriciabunin@sbcglobal.net. Follow her on X @patriciabunin and on patriciabunin.com. 

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