Thursday, October 20, 2005

Feelings on Fall and Friendships

I love the colors of fall. The leaves change to the most vibrant shades of gold, rust, orange and yellow. Of course, they are falling and creating a lot of work but on a crisp fall, blue-sky day the picture is a beauty to behold.
I love the smells of fall. Spice, pumpkin and apple fill our home from the candles burning to cookies baking. The d├ęcor looks nice with our color scheme. Everything feels “homey” and relaxing.
I also love the smells as I shop for groceries …. dill fills the produce section and my memories of canning. My good friend and former neighbor, Barb taught me “Canning 101” in the late 70’s – early 80’s.
One August we drove out to Sauvie’s Island – both of us pregnant – Barb with two kids; I with one. We picked and picked and picked beautiful large peaches. When I carried my baskets up to be weighed and check out I found that I had spent our entire grocery budget for the week. Back then our budget was very tight. To justify this expense I remember thinking of all the creative meals I could put together with peaches as one of the ingredients….hahaha
For the next two days we canned at each of our houses giving the opportunity to “mess up” each kitchen and giving the kids new toys and yards to play in. We canned our peaches in syrup made from vetch honey. We would purchase it from a Bee Supply Co. over off 82nd & Halsey. The syrup was light allowing the fresh peach flavor to dominate. At the end of two days we had 80 quarts of peaches in our pantry. For the next few seasons we could enjoy the taste of summer.
It’s sad that after Costco opened in our area I quit canning. It seemed for all the work involved you could buy canned peaches in bulk for a fraction of the cost there. They don’t taste quite the same and also missing is the camaraderie of sharing time, skills and tasks with other women. It’s not so much about filling our pantries as filling our lives with rich relationships.
Today Barb & I have both moved to the Westside and still live relatively close by but our lives are filled with different schedules in this season of life. We both work full-time and are busy with our grown children etc. but we do keep in touch through email, at birthdays and Christmas. We may not have time to get together for canning and the other things we did when the kids were small but we can count on each other when in a crisis for prayer & support. Thank you, Barb for sharing not only your canning skills but for filling my “life pantry” with love, support and friendship.

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