Mmmm…the taste of a ripe tomato fresh from the garden! I had one today, and it took me back to when I was a kid. My mom had a huge garden that took up a quarter of our little suburban backyard. I loved to go out, pick a tomato, bring it in the house, sprinkle salt on it, and munch away!
My mom also canned our vegetables so we would have them in the winter. I remember going into my brother’s bedroom. He had two closets, side by side, with shelves that connected them. One side held his personal belongings, the other side had rows and rows of homemade canned vegetables.
She sewed our clothes when I was a kid, too. She taught me how to crochet. I was about as crafty as a rock; about all I could do was make a long string of crocheting!
She made homemade bread until one day, as she tells the story, she broke a nail and it got kneaded into the dough! At that time, she gave the job to my dad (who had been a cook in the army).
Even though he worked hard all day running his construction company, he found time to make crusty loaves of bread, and juicy peach and apple pies. He often woke us up on Saturday or Sunday morning to homemade biscuits!
My parents are pretty awesome! I guess a lot of people did that kind of thing back then; it’s harder to find people being self-sufficient nowadays.
My husband and I want to remind people of what we call “the lost arts.” Soap-making, candle-making, churning butter, etc. That’s one of the reasons we have a farm. The longer we run our farm, Buttercup Ranch and Creamery, the more we realize there is to learn, and how much we don’t know!
But that’s okay…it’s fun to try to do things yourself. Will you make mistakes? Yes, lots of them! Is it messy? Yes, but you just clean up afterwards.
Our garden teaches me lots of lessons. When our kids were small, we had a huge garden. Now, kids are growing up and leaving, and we have a lot smaller one. It’s more manageable, but still gets out of control. I am trying to be consistent (my lifelong struggle!) and go out and weed, water and harvest a little each day. Today I weeded a large patch that had gotten out of control. It was very satisfying. When I stepped back and saw the garden as a whole, it still looked like a mess. But parts are getting under control.
Just like my garden, is my life. I’m trying to have consistency in lots of different areas. It’s tough! But I just have to keep plugging away every day. Some days will be great, others will be lousy, but it’s okay. Or maybe one day we just slow down and talk to each other and sort out some issues that have been brewing below the surface for a long time. Maybe some stuff will not get checked off my “To Do List,” but so what? Some things are more important.
And tomorrow, I pick back up and start over again. It’s okay. It’s good. Life is good.
How about you? Do you struggle with consistency? Or maybe you need to relax and put away your “To Do List”and just “be.” Be with your friends, be with your family, nurture relationships. Or just be with yourself and have a little “you” time, working on a hobby or passion. Either way, “pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.”
I’m going to go brew a cup of mint tea (with mint leaves from my garden!) and read a book.