Pick the Apples!

What do you do when you discover a fully loaded apple tree in your neighborhood has fallen to the ground in the middle of the apple season? You pick apples!

Lots of them.


We rescued three heaping bags full,


sacrificed just a bit of time (about 7 hours),IMG_20140804_100611_966

threw in a good amount of sugar and spice (for good measure, as Grandma would always say),


and followed through to the finish with a little toil (blisters and steam burns are true trophies).


The reward? We’ll enjoy the blessing of this impromptu harvest throughout the long winter to come!


Sometimes a season comes early. Sometimes unexpected. What do you do with it? Go ahead and pick those apples.

Plum Crazy


It’s canning season again, my very favorite time of year. I love everything about it.  I love the harvest, the preparation, the processing, and the filling of the pantry shelves. I love the taste of freshness, the smell of goodness, and the popping sound the lids make when they are officially “sealed”. I love the anticipation. I love the exhaustion. I love the satisfaction.  Yes!


Where does this love come from? Why do I enjoy ridiculous hours spent picking, seeding, cooking, filling, sealing, and putting up? Why do I welcome steam burns and broken nails and earth stained hands?


I must be plum crazy, or maybe pear crazy, or apple crazy, or zucchini crazy!


Whatever kind of crazy, it comes from somewhere. My mother was crazy too, and my grandmother, and…


This is the type of crazy that is carried through time by tradition.  This crazy joyful knowledge is passed on through the seasons. Tradition stretches. It expands from the wild plum thickets near the childhood farm to the backyard plum tree near the capital city.


This is an art form, handed down. It is a skill, passed along. It is a gift, shared. It is a love, continued.


I have observed. I have helped. I have been trained. I have been given the gift of experience. I have been released.


And now, I long to pick plums from the tree.


How about you? What traditions are you plum crazy about?