Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Can I Borrow a Cup of Sugar?

I met my daughter and her family at her grandmother's house in the country this past weekend. I took pictures of her feeding leaves to goats, of the baby eating mulberries fresh from the tree, of purple juicy hands, and of chocolate Easter bunnies on my grandsons' faces. I snapped a photo of my granddaughter walking down the lane to borrow eggs for cornbread. And I took a picture of clothes drying on a line.

It was like stepping back in time. I don't think we ever had goats, but my husband had cows and chickens. I had been a city girl, so every day in the Ozark Mountains was an adventure for me, or should have been, but I took a lot for granted. He raised a vegetable garden, and his mother taught me how to can tomatoes and corn and squash, and make jam and jelly and syrup.  It was common to borrow a cup of sugar from a neighbor. A couple of days later she would borrow it right back. We definitely hung our clothes out to dry -- inside-out for colors so they wouldn't fade. (Watch out for puppies. They will pull towels and sheets down every time.) At night the bed smelled like the warmth of the sun and apple-orchard air.

What is happening in our lives right now that we will be nostalgic for in a few years?  Let's appreciate green spaces and wildflowers and slow-cooked, real food. Let's turn off the TV and radio for awhile, and be treated to the conversations of  bluejays and cardinals and sparrows.  Let's knead dough and bake bread.

Who knew I would ever miss being able to hang my sheets out on the line?

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