Two summers ago, I gave up jam-making, canning, and freezing for the winter. In the years before that, I had been a little Suzy Homemaker all summer long. When I was unwell, however, and not able to do anything beyond the basics of what needed to be done, it was hardly a decision–I just didn’t do any of those things. Last summer, feeling more like myself, I made two batches of peach jam, and then decided that was more than enough. I couldn’t believe I’d ever enjoyed it! I said “I quit,” and I meant it. I had no idea when, if ever, I’d want to get back into this kind of thing, even though it had once helped to define my identity as a worthy wife and mother, at least in my own eyes. I had hung up my supermom hat, and I just didn’t care anymore.
Well, this summer has rolled around and I decided to give it another try. Maybe because I’ve taken the pressure off myself, I don’t hate it anymore; and what’s more, my kids are now ready to be involved. Maybe two years without any of Mom’s goodies was enough of an incentive. They helped me with picking cherries next door at their grandma’s, and gathering wild black raspberries around our property. They helped with the work in the kitchen, and even decided that making jam and freezing fruit isn’t so mysterious or difficult. After two days of this, they were quite proud of the results of our efforts. To prove it, we have not one, not two, but THREE jars of cherry jam on the go in the fridge. The second and third ones were accidental, but that’s okay– I don’t expect they will last long, in any case.
Aside from purchasing a few supplies, there was really not much required except the time and effort involved. The cherry tree had plenty of fruit this year–enough that the birds left us some–and there are still loads of black raspberries left to ripen. All we had to do was take advantage of the bounty God has laid out for us. I feel fortunate to have such things available to my family, and I am also grateful to have recovered my health enough to get back to something I had once taken for granted, and then abandoned. I am thankful to be living out in the country, with big blue skies, lots of space, and nature a few steps from my door. I might as well enjoy it!