Change of Season

I haven’t spent time here for a while.

Life has been gritty.

Uncomfortable.

Pressing.

Changing.

It has been like the coming of Autumn.

I’ve held the hand of the dying. Gripping every gifted moment tightly. Releasing encouragement. Saying you can make it, when I knew they would not. Not here.

I’ve gathered every brilliant moment of time and celebrated every breath of living.

Like harvest. We spend our time in the fields. We gather and preserve every blessing, knowing as we enjoy the Fall death still comes.

I’ve been looking into faces of dignity.

They are the forgetful ones.

They are the diseased.

They are the widowed.

They are the homeless.

It’s uncomfortable yet satisfying. Like trying to laugh through crying. Like the blasts of cool air readying you for the winter, and then warming again as the day wears. We just add a sweater on those cool mornings. If only it could be this simple.

Spending time with those longing for a memory.

Enjoying the same conversation again and again.

Asking for mercy in the middle of the storm.

Sometimes the colors of Fall are beautiful. Sometimes we have to look past the gray that withers away.

They all have something in common. Their eyes all search for the same thing.

Hope.

Seasons like this move us. We are their hope. We can change and be changed.

I am changed.

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It’s a new season.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing can be taken from it. God does it so that men will revere Him. -Ecclesiastes 3:1,1

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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,

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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),

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

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

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

Plum Crazy

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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?

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