Thursday, August 2, 2012

Summertime Memories

Sometimes I think about the difference in my childhood and my grandchildren's. My summers were filled with work and play, most of it out of doors. My Mother always had a large garden and summer time was filled with the gathering of the produce, the process of preparing it for canning or freezing. We "put up" jams, jellies, soups, vegetables and fruits to sustain us through the winter months and beyond. I didn't help with the final process until I was a teen, though. I can see my Mother still standing in the kitchen in front of the stove as she lifted the jars from the canner and set them on the counter, covered by a towel, to cool. And then we'd listen as each one made that popping sound of its lid which let us know it was sealed. 
I had my chores to do every day and there was no playing until those were completed. Our play sometimes consisted of long bike rides or hikes through the rural community where we lived. The roads were all dirt or chert and there was very little traffic. However, there were also trails through the woods and around the fields of neighbor farmers which we often took and discovered new treasures of nature among the familiar. Our neighbor's doors were always open with offerings of a glass of water, lemonade and sometimes cake or cookies. Those same neighbor's houses were not a few steps away as are the houses in my area today but were often a quarter mile away.
Now compare this to the times in which we live: My grandchildren spend most of their time indoors where the air conditioners hum and they play with electronic games....
The last few weeks, I've been "putting up" produce from the garden. I have now frozen Okra, Corn, Peppers and Zucchini. My kitchen can become quite warm during this time even with air conditioning and fans but nothing compared to the heat in Mama's kitchen during canning time. 
Mama went home to heaven on July 29th 2005.


  1. Yes, times have changed..some for the better, and some not.
    I often think of my grandmother, when I was young, cooking in her tiny kitchen, each day--with no air conditioning. She didn't even have running water, except in the kitchen--and it was cold. Eventually, they bought a home with hot and cold water and air conditioning, thank goodness, but it wasn't until 1968.
    I'm so thankful that I learned how to "put up" food. Those vegetables taste so good in winter :)

  2. I did all those things that you can remember. It does worry me about the children of today. One thing I am greatful for is my grandies play a lot of sport.

  3. Your story sounds a lot like mine except I didn't have a bike, I had roller skates that clamped onto my shoes and I wore the key on a shoelace around my neck. I was a city girl but we had a huge garden and what we didn't grow we got from our country cousins. I also lost my mother in 2005.