Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cold strawberries

I like to start the morning with fruit. Strawberries are my favorite. Bananas are a close second and sometimes I mix the two. First, I have a banana and then some strawberries. I ran out of bananas yesterday and now all I have are strawberries. I'm not complaining. I love strawberries.

However, strawberries taste so much better when they are warm, at least room temperature. The best of all possible tastes is a strawberry picked fresh from the vine and eaten while still warm from the sun. All the strawberry taste and sweetness are at their peak of perfection. Organic store bought strawberries run a close second but they wilt pretty quickly. Keeping them in the refrigerator makes them last longer and it's almost an agony smelling their luscious scent and waiting for them to get to room temperature. Microwaving for a few seconds makes them warm but then the strawberries taste slightly off. I don't understand why, especially since dipping them in warm chocolate enhances the intensity of the sweetness and strawberry-ness. It just does.

I have a bowl of strawberries this morning and I've already eaten a few still cold. I don't want to wait, but as I taste the hint of sweetness that would be so much better if I did wait I slow down and make each cold berry last, staving off the desire to devour them all without stopping until only a few pips and a bit of juice are left. Waiting makes so many things better.

Society as a whole is geared to instant gratification. Credit makes it easier to get everything from cars and houses to DVD players and computers. For a small fee (and sometimes a very large fee) we can have whatever we desire without the wait. All we have to do is make the payments.

I just paid off my digital camera, bought on credit, and have only this laptop and my living room furniture to pay off. When I called and made my payment last week I paid off the camera. The manager asked what I would like to get next. "Nothing," I said, "and I'm paying off the rest by July."

"You have to get something," Joe the manager said.

"I don't need anything else."

"A big screen TV?"

"I have a nice TV and I use it to watch DVDs. I neither need nor want a bigger TV."

"A new DVD player?"

"Mine works just fine and I have a backup."

"How about bedroom furniture? You bought the bed but you don't have the rest. I'll make you a great deal." Joe was working hard.

"I don't think so. There would be too much to move around when I paint the bedroom. I think I'll wait."

"Keep us in mind," Joe said. He gave me the authorization number on my payment. "I'm sure you'll find something you need before July."

I could use some bookcases and a new desk that gives me enough room for my sewing machine and radio equipment and computers, but I don't need them now. I could also use a dresser, but what I have works just fine. I could use a lot of things, but I don't really need anything. I'm waiting for the day when what I owe is paid off and I don't have to make any more payments. I can save a little money and eventually get what I could use later. It will be nice not having to worry about what I owe. I know I'll always have the phone and electric and rent to pay and food to buy, but I can live with that. I can wait.

So many things are worth the wait, like seeing and being with good and dear friends. Every time I see a friend who has been absent from my life for a while it's like the first time when we realized what a great connection we share. It's like cold strawberries that taste so much better I wait for them to warm up. The waiting is agony at times, but the result is absolutely worth the wait.

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