While spending the majority of my life growing up and living in New England, I never cease to be amazed at the changing of the seasons. I am in awe at the awesomeness of God in seeing the beauty of His Creation and watching it change from one season to the next. Spring is a time of new life and hope as buds burst open, leaves grow on trees and flowers bloom into bright beautiful colors. The pace of life quickens as well with the spring rush of preparing the ground for planting and planting the seeds. The cold days slowly warm until you almost forget what it was like to be freezing as your skins grows warm with the warming sunshine. Now, as we slip into summer, that warmth deepens as the heat intensifies. The little seedlings are now growing fast and giving way to flowers and even small tomatoes growing. The sugar snap peas came, and went almost as fast as they came, wilting and dying in the deep heat of summer. And so did the lettuces…they started out so tender and sweet and now are downright bitter from the deep heat of the summer. So, maybe that is why the old Italians would have cucumber and tomato salads, as lettuce is not often able to be had when the tomatoes and cucumbers are ripe at the end of summer. There is just so much to learn with gardening. So many lessons that extend far beyond companion planting or crop rotation. Lessons of planting little tiny seeds on cold spring days with great hope in your hearts of brighter, warmer, and happier days to come. As those little pea seeds grew into beautiful plants filled with many sweet sugar snap peas, that even my picky four year old would snap off the plant and eat, then those moments of realization came of just why all of those efforts to attempt to grow our own food is just so worthwhile, even when others discourage you from even trying. We have to remember to embrace the little moments in this life as they certainly lead to much joy and fulfillment as we journey on towards our destination.
After a beautiful First Friday spent attending Holy Mass and visiting with friends, my little ones and I spent the afternoon planting sweet potato plants in our garden while a cool rain came down and cooled us off. As the rain began to intensify and poured down on us, we raced to get the rest of the ground turned over with the shovel and dug the holes and planted the plants. Thankfully, it was just a lovely rain storm that God sent us to water the gardens and there was no thunder or lightning to threaten our safety.
The other morning last week, my fourteen year old daughter was inspired to start a batch of yogurt in the Instant Pot. We then decided it was necessary to make homemade granola to go with that yogurt. As that busy day progressed, she proceeded to make lemon cheese, and then went raspberry picking outside our home. We both agreed we needed to turn it into jam and even can it. Although it only made just over two little half pints of raspberry jam, it was worth every minute of that time spent. Seeing my oldest daughter find such joy in creating these simple, but delicious foods that one would ordinarily purchase at a store and make them from scratch, was just priceless! It brought me back in my heart to simpler times, such as the beautiful stories of Ma and Pa, and Laura and Mary and baby Carrie out on the prairie. They knew how to appreciate the changing of the seasons and to cherish each moment that we are all so blessed to have.
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