Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Preserving Things

I spent a fair share of my childhood after school, helping my mom preserve the bounty from our garden. As I ventured off onto my own in adulthood, I mostly raided her pantry as needed but back then, I didn't eat a lot of veggies so it wasn't very often. As I started a family and thus started living a healthier life, I began to eat more veggies again and would take any excess veggies from my parents garden and started preserving them myself.

Then came the cancer. That was June 30, 2016.

Mom soon went through brain surgery, radiation and chemo and so I spent that summer, helping her can, freeze and otherwise preserve the bounty from her garden. Twice the labor made the work go faster and having someone to talk to made the work seem easier. Although the cancer was briefly gone and treatments were over with for the 2017 season, I still helped my mom canning. I knew time was more finite but besides preserving vegetables, I was preserving memories.

This year, we've been preserving a lot of memories again. I helped freeze the sweetcorn and we made a batch of salsa. My parents went off on a mini vacation with my daughters so in their absense I have been making sweet pickles seen above and will shortly be canning some tomato sauce seen below. Next up will be green beans later this afternoon.

I'm not sure how much time is left. Not a day goes by when that I don't think such thoughts. But I do know after that era ends and for me, a new one begins, that I will always have memories of my mom in every jar that sits on my canning shelves downstairs.


Susan said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you, Ed. I admit to having a jar of pickled beets from five years ago, when I spent a wonderful day with my best friend in her kitchen, canning them. She was hit by a car and killed not long after. I may be buried with those beets.

Kelly said...

Preserving memories. Such a poignant statement.

Ed said...

Susan - I can't say I blame you because I'm sure I'll do something similar.

Kelly - Thank you.

Pat Tillett said...

A beautiful and bittersweet bit of writing Ed.

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Pumpkin Delight (Kimberly) said...

I've gotten a little bit behind this week. I love this post. What a nice way to spend with your mom and it sounds like you've got some great memories from many years canning. I don't can, but really enjoy when friends who do share their bounty with me. :)