Saturday, July 5, 2008

Mamaw's Canning Jars

It's confession time. I've been spending more time indoors than out these last few days. Aside from picking blueberries and Japanese beetles, I haven't really done much in the garden. But I have been weeding.

Weeding? Surely I've been in the garden. Nope. I've been weeding the garage. And the attic. And the pantry. And the linen closet. And that pesky cabinet over the stove with toothpicks spilled all over the place. And I feel better. It's a big psychic load to get rid of the clutter and the unneeded stuff that threatens to take over our modern lives. If it weren't for all the stuff, we wouldn't be neighbors to a mini-storage facility, where the busiest business day is December 26th. But I digress.

The hardest thing for me about weeding stuff is the concern that we might need this stuff some day in harder times. Part of that is my parents' heritage from The Great Depression, and part of it is the constant news reports of prices going up and the economy going down. But why keep stuff that we will never use again? So the baby stuff is going, along with some other things.

But not the canning jars, even though they take up lots of space on the garage floor. Years ago, Love and I rescued 13 dozen canning jars from behind his grandmother's vacant home. They were all bagged up and ready for recycling. They've mostly sat empty in our attic and then our garage since then, along with a few jars collected over the years as my mother has gradually gotten rid of hers. Canning comes out of my kitchen in a trickle these days: a few pickles here, a bit of apple butter there, but mostly jellies and jams that go into my collection of smaller jelly jars. But, I promise, Mamaw, I'm working my way back. Some year soon, hopefully next, our pantry will overflow with green beans, peas, tomatoes, tomato juice, and all the other things I used to can B.C. (before children). And your jars will be at work once again.

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