I used to take my kids and two dozen more up to North Georgia for a field trip to an apple orchard, where they’d charge us an arm and a leg for a wagon ride and then we would buy ridiculous amounts of apples (I was thinking “Oh, I’ll can some of these!”) Which, in truth, never, ever happened.
I still don’t know how to can anything. I would freeze extra food, which often sat in the freezer-locker (as Ken insists on calling it ... there’s no lock on that thing) and then watch it turn brown over the months (and years, if I’m honest) and get covered with frost until I added them to the landfill.
At least they might possibly make it back to the earth and do something beneficial there.
Despite that, much of our frozen food got eaten, so my conscience can rest somewhat. I so wanted to be Suzie Farmer, with gleaming cans of produce and stores for years in my pantry. There came a day when I recognized the truth: that I was artistic and distracted, with lots of jollity to be had.
A steady, consistent farmer’s wife I was not. Dear Lord, that sounds like the grasshopper in Aesop’s Fables. Didn’t he starve or something? Somehow, my children done got raised and they seem pretty hale and hearty to me, even with my haphazard ways of doing things.
Last Friday, I went with a girlfriend up to the mountains for a day-long trip. She is very crunchy; that means she does everything natural and healthy, unlike me, her hedonistic friend who tries but often fails.
Those kinds of friends are always trying to reform me and bless me with their wisdom. I am grateful for them and have truly benefitted, but the rebel still comes out at times.
We drove up there and had quite the day: stops at the health food store, the chiropractor (apparently from heaven), a fantastic barbecue restaurant (now we’re talkin’), an art gallery, a knife shop and then finally dinner at an old, dear friend’s home (they’re not old, just the friendship).
I couldn’t afford the time to be doing that, I thought; not while properties are being snapped up all around and I’m just hobnobbing around the mountains.
Truth is, I could afford it. Each thing we did was a blessing, even just the hours of conversation to and fro. It is good to set aside the urgent, to breathe in the moments. This seems to be a theme that I write about often, but don’t heed nearly enough.
My advice: head up to the Georgia mountains as soon as you can! The trees will be turning, the apples are crunchy and ripe, and there’s shops and restaurants galore.
As the summer gives way to fall, and the sad winter follows, store up these days for those back parts of your brain that need a sweet place to savor for later.