Does anyone who has been in my life for at least 25 years recognize this bag?
The Strawberry Bag - made by the one and only Helen Lou Melberg - A.K.A Grandma Lou, Auntie Lou, or simply Lou. All of Grandma Lou's daughters, daughter-in-law, or basically most of the women in Lou's inner circle of life had a similar bag. The bag pictured was my mom's (Lou's niece-in-law?). It was the bag used every Sunday of summer in my childhood that we "headed to the lake" to "the cabin" on Kandi - A.K.A Donald and Lou's cabin. The bag held the contents to summer fun. The Strawberry Bag meant time with cousins, food, salads, pans of bars, sun, water, sand, tanning, ski time, kids everywhere, adults everywhere, and much less sunscreen then the American Society of Pediatrics would recommend for children today.
After Dad sold the house in the country, my Dad, Brett and I purged. Mostly, I do not regret what I no longer have or did not save for us. I held on to this bag. I am glad I have the Strawberry Bag. It is just one of SO MANY things Lou made in multiples for many. I think Barb's bag had sailboats on it. In kindergarden, Brad (who was Lou's ACTUAL grandson) and I both had little denim bags with a school house and our name appliqued on them.
Anyway...I digress. I got this bag out and used it for a picnic this past Sunday, June 1st. The Thomberg's went to visit Jenny and Jeremy at their new home in Minneapolis. We picniced at Minnehaha Creek two blocks away. Using the bag was my personal and private way to commemorate my mom on the anniversary of her death. It was a way for me to bask in the many precious family memories she created for all of us.
Sunday the Strawberry Bag was used to create new family memories for my own kiddos! Hey, it just occurred to me Marlys and Lou were probably hanging out in heaven and laughing at their own memories of these bags (including the label stitched inside indicating it was 'hand made by Helen Lou'). I was also thinking this bag is nearly 30 years old and shows no real signs of wear. God bless quality home made sewn goods from a generation gone by. I plan to put this bag in regular use. Mark and I have become those people who bring their own bags to retailors.