Friends, Canning and Coffee

boomer-women-sharing-coffee-conversationYesterday I had the pleasure of visiting with an old friend. We haven’t been close through the years, but we’ve always had a presence in each other’s life. We met when her son and my daughter were in nursery school. We traveled a similar path through raising children, divorce, working, going to college later in life, belonging to the same church, etc. But we never were close. That is changing now. Now we are both caretakers for someone we love. She for her mother. Me for Ken.

So every Thursday for the past few weeks, we’ve made a date with each other. First to meet over a cup of coffee at a local coffee house. Second, to meet for lunch. Then yesterday she came to my house. She was going to show me the latest in the Mary Kay cosmetic line because she sells the stuff when she’s not taking care of her Mom.

But, we never got around to the Mary Kay demonstration. We just spent the sunny afternoon visiting. During the course of our time together, she told me something that really surprised me. She remembered when we were young mothers that I did so many marvelous things. She said I blew her away by what I could do.

Me marvelous – really?

As she went down memory lane, she reminded me of the day she visited, and I was canning peaches from trees in my backyard.  She also remembered the jams and pies I made from the trees, which always gave me too much fruit and lots of work. But I never thought someone would see something like putting up preserves as marvelous.

canning (2)

To me, these things were mundane. I had grown up helping my mother can everything from green beans to pickles every summer. Like little squirrels we prepared for the winter, canning and freezing the fruits and vegetables of my grandfather’s garden. It was just something we did because we had to do it. It takes a lot of money to raise a family of four kids. My mother didn’t work outside the home, and my father worked in a muffler factory, so there was no spare money growing on trees. The result was doing a lot of things like sewing our clothes, canning and freezing most of our food (except for meat and dairy), cutting our own hair, etc. We were pretty much homemade through and through.

What is so amazing to me about my encounter yesterday was someone remembered what I did 30 years ago, PLUS, she thought what I did was  mysterious and wonderful. I couldn’t believe it!

There’s a lesson to be learned in this experience, and it is this: The things we accomplish and take for granted ourselves, other’s see as wonderful and special. So the next time you’re beating yourself up because you think you’re just one more ordinary Joe — remember this story.Whatever you write or create IS special. It’s too bad it takes someone else to realize it.

4 thoughts on “Friends, Canning and Coffee

  1. Very thought provoking… it made me think back to my days as a young mother and I did many of the same things. Thank you for sharing. I read your blog everyday and it makes the miles between us seem fewer.

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