During my college years, I was blessed to meet many fantastic friends that affected me in lasting ways. In particularly, one set of beautiful roommates changed my life. There were four of us, all musicians. We all had other interests as well, but the music bonded us, like soul sisters :-) We enjoyed performing with the university bands and especially running a muck in the marching band. At one point, I even arranged a hymn for us to play together. I remember gathering around our kitchen counter trying to read off a single copy of music for our odd ensemble, a flute, clarinet, baritone sax and trumpet! What glorious musical moments we had together, playing, writing and singing together! But more than just the music, my heart is filled with love for these girls and our shared lives. "Strawberry Jell-o" celebrates some of those moments and the spirit of living by which we tried to prescribe.
The song came about as the end of the semester drew near. Upcoming changes were not going to allow us to be together the following year, and we realized how little and precious our time together was. As a "last hoorah" we cleared our schedules and planned an epic picnic for our last Sunday together. In preparation for the picnic, I prepared a ridiculously large bowl of strawberry jell-o. It was seriously the largest bowl I owned. The picnic was indeed a joy. We feasted, laughed much, we played frisbee and relished in our time together. We arrived home and began filling the fridge with leftovers, and discovered my forgetfulness had struck again...the ginormous sized bowl of jell-o was staring at us, untouched, and calling out in despair that it had missed our festivities! So what are a bunch of girls to do? Well, dig in of course!
As we ate, this commenced a beautiful and much more serious conversation of the upcoming changes and our concerns for the future. Before we even realized it, we were scraping the bottom of the huge bowl, we couldn't believe it was all gone! It was somewhat of a metaphor for our time together. Like the jell-o, we had been so involved in living to the fullest that we inadvertently found ourselves scrambling for the last tastes of our cherished moments together, knowing that the bowl would soon be washed, packed away and become a memory. None of us wanted it to end....it was like our life over strawberry jell-o! That thought led us to a song quickly as I grabbed my guitar and we began recounting more of our favorite times together....
Remember when we went to that gathering where the kool-aid was clearly fine, but had the intoxicating effects of silliness? Remember the evening we joined friends for roasting marshmallows in the crisp night air? Can you believe how much ramen we eat? For real, I'm pretty sure we have had it for breakfast a number of times! What about when we danced in the rain? Won't it be nice to take our chances with another dryer that doesn't have an insatiable appetite for socks?
Our time for pinching pennies to visit family together was at a close, but I for one will forever be grateful for the friendships of that stage of life, for the inspiration and joy they have and continue to bring me. Our shared lives were a gift and so was the jell-o by which to remember them! So there you have it, ladies and gentleman, the real story behind "Strawberry Jell-o"! Who has has been a similar blessing in your life?