she was always old as i knew her. i don't remember her young or spry. my mama being the last of her brood, the seventh, and me being the last of mine, left many years between us. she lived through the depression, during a time when you had babies until you just didn't, whether or not you had the money to raise them. her life was full and i'm certain she retained a wealth of knowledge though she didn't share it. she was aged and tired from the many years of giving herself away to raising children and a few grandchildren. a legacy was left but not so much of the kind one would hope for.
legacies are left with or without intention.
resting in this knowledge, my desire is to leave a legacy worthy of the calling i have received, for my children and their children and their childrens' children.
so around here we love with a great big love that overflows with grace for both them and me. we snuggle daily and giggle regularly. we read books aloud and delight in the stories of little houses and little mice and pigs that talk. we grow a garden with tiny feet along side tending, weeding and harvesting its goodness.
we do art, family bike rides, wrestling matches, hide-n-seek in the house, tickle monsters and dates with our little ones. we watch movies, wash dishes, vacuum floor all as a team. we are family and this is our legacy.
a trip to the strawberry patch and a love for homesteading lead us to canning jam. i asked my mother in law to help. she borrowed the recipe for freezer jam from her sister and gathered our supplies. the date and time were set.
we arrived late. she was fine with that because she has walked this road before me and understands that in this season i will always be late. with three little ones in tow, i threw dinner in the crockpot while she prepared the jars. the whole process was short and sweet.
those words are not used lightly. as there was truly sweetness permeating throughout. in between stirring the tiny one came, arms high to be held and included. she knew there was goodness in the making. the little guy adorned with mimi's reading glasses staged himself at the table, tools in hand to fix things, just like papa. the big girl, tired from illness earlier in the week and a hard days play with her favorite friends found herself perched on the couch relaxing to a show. all these things i pondered in my heart as the sweet smell of strawberries filled the air.
in the end we met our home with seven jars of jam to be savored. almost too good to eat. almost.
Strawberry Freezer Jam
1 quart strawberries (mashed)
4 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1 box sure-jell
(makes approximately 6 cups)
measure 2 cups of mashed strawberries into bowl. stir in sugar. let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
bring water and sure-jell to boil in small sauce pan, stirring constantly. boil and stir for 1 minute. stir into fruit mixture in the bowl. continue stirring for 3 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. fill containers quickly to within 1/2 in of the top. cover with lips and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours.
refrigerate up to 3 weeks
freeze up to 1 year
let thaw in refrigerator