Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Morning Surprise

Monday mornings aren't known for good surprises.  I remember when I was still in the job market, Monday mornings weren't my favorite part of the week.  It was hard to get back into the swing of things after a couple of days off.  It seemed as though if anything bad was going to happen, it would be on a Monday morning.

However, this morning I had a good surprise.  My phone rang and my youngest son asked if I was busy and was I going to be home.  I told him I would check my calendar.

That's a joke.  These days my calendar is whatever I want it to be.  I love retirement.

He said that he would be in my neighborhood within the hour and would stop by.  That's the first part of my good Monday morning surprise.  Any time I see one of my kids it is a good day.

The second part was when he unloaded from a cooler a dozen canning jars.  They had been full when he got them and I was really glad to see the empties.  Canning jars are like gold to me.  The Farmer's Markets in my area are gearing up with all sorts of home grown produce and I hope to fill lots of those jars before the snow flies.

The third part was when he handed me a container of home grown cherry tomatoes!  Fresh off the vine.  And super delicious.  I snacked on them through the morning, had a few with my lunch and more with supper.  By the time I thought about taking a picture, there weren't enough left to photograph.  Since David started growing tomatoes, and especially since he shares them with me, I have a hard time eating tomatoes from the grocery store.  The difference in taste is incredible.

And then there was a bonus.  David's garden includes cucumbers and he had made dill pickles.  And I got a jar of them!  I haven't opened the jar yet, but if they taste anything like the ones he made last year, I have a treat waiting for me.  Last years pickles tasted like the ones Aunt Em used to make.  And that is pretty high praise, considering that as a kid I begged her for her dill pickles whenever I went to her house for a meal.

I'd say it was a pretty good Monday morning.  Thank you, David!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fruits of Their Labor

Yesterday I got another of those phone calls I love so much.

"Grandma, we emailed you a picture!"

Boston told me all about picking fresh vegetables from their garden and that her Dad was making stir-fry with them for supper.  She told me how well the garden was doing and about how the tomato plants had fruit on them and how the kids had been helping Dad in the garden.  I am amazed that with the heat wave we have going on here, the plants haven't just burned up.  They must be doing something right.

I am so glad that my grandkids are learning that vegetables are grown in the ground and don't just appear on store shelves in cans or wrapped in plastic.  I am reminded of a story told by a member of a home canning email group I belong to.  This fellow raises a big garden every year and sells at a Farmer's Market in his area.  He said that a woman was looking at the potatoes he had dug the night before, which had a little dirt left on them.  She complained about the dirt and when her small daughter asked why the potatoes were dirty, the mother told her that they shouldn't be, because everybody knows that potatoes grow on trees.

After talking to Boston, Jacob took the phone.  He told me all about the bunny that was trying to eat their green pepper plants, but he chased the bunny away and he didn't know where the bunny went, but he chased it away from the peppers and it ran away so it won't eat any more peppers!

They promised to save a few cherry tomatoes for me.  I'm gonna hold them to that promise!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Old Folks Dictionary

I think someone should publish an old folks dictionary.  Fill it with terms that have meaning to nearly everyone over the age of fifty.  It would be a big help to grandchildren who have never heard of the terms and would make it easier for them to understand us.  For instance.....

Sunday Afternoon Ride:  When Dad would pile us kids in the car and we would just take off for parts unknown, usually within a ten mile radius of home.  We would look at the crops or the beautiful fall leaves or maybe wind up at the river, looking for huge clam shells.  If we were really good, there might be a stop for ice cream.

Going Visiting:  Sometimes a Sunday afternoon ride would end up at a friend or relatives house, where we would play with the kids and the grown-ups would visit.  There was usually lemonade and cake involved.

Sunday Company:  That's when somebody else's Sunday afternoon ride wound up at our house.

Visiting:  That's when friends or relatives sat on the front porch of a summer afternoon, and talked.  Not on cell phones.  No texting.  Nothing remotely computer related.  They talked.  As in have a conversation.  Which seems to be a dying art.

Play Outside:  That's what we did, as kids, from morning to night.  Without parents hovering over us.  Without helmets and a ton of other gear to protect us.  We played ball or hide and seek or any number of outdoor games.  Nothing was pre-planned.  We didn't make play dates.  We just played, which is what kids are supposed to do.

School Picnic:  That's when the entire neighborhood would gather at the two-room country school I attended.  Each family brought something good to eat for a potluck picnic.  The Dads would usually get up a softball game and the Moms would catch up on the neighborhood gossip.  And the kids ran around and played, which is what kids are supposed to do.

Potluck:  Everybody brings a dish to share.  Usually a casserole or salad of some kind.  And a pie or cake or cookies.  Nobody worried about the number of calories or fat grams, or whether there was a balance of "healthy" food.  We just ate and enjoyed.

Christmas Pageant:  That's when the school kids would put on a program  for the parents.  It wasn't a "Holiday Pageant."  It was a Christmas Pageant, with usually a combination of Santa Claus, Angels and the Baby Jesus.  Nobody thought about it being politically incorrect.  Of course, at that time, Christmas was still Christmas.

OK.  So when I write my Old Folks Dictionary, I suppose I had better change the title to Grumpy Old Folks Dictionary.  I tend to get a little grumpy when I see so many of the simple pleasures in life go by the wayside in favor of technology.  I am not such a Luddite that I can't see the distinct advantages to todays technology.  After all, this blog is written and published using a computer.  But I sometimes think that technology is taking over our lives.  Some of us go through withdrawl if we can't send or receive a text every few minutes.  Others can't live without their laptop.  We rarely have verbal, face to face conversations any more.  It is sort of sad, really.

I will get off my soapbox now.

And go for a walk:  That's when a person leaves the house, goes somewhere that doesn't require transportation, and enjoys seeing the green grass and trees, the flowers, the eagles that soar over the river, and breathes in fresh air.  And leaves the phone at home.