We are getting settled in our new place. Our eight cats (we had to have our sweet Ichabod put to sleep) joined our roommate David’s three and they are all getting along wonderfully despite all of my worrying.
Part of the deal there is that I am cooking the meals. After being so long without free run of a kitchen I am loving taking over his mother’s warm abode. The other night I put Andrea Bocelli on Pandora, poured a glass of Montepulciano, and made a delicious wild mushroom risotto with fresh salad and bread.
Another friend of mine lost everything this year. She explained it as going into shock when needing to move suddenly and gave away or sold everything. She later fell into hysteria over it but the shock is the only way she could have done it. I know no one likes to hear, “I know just how you feel!” but at that moment I did. Someone closely related to me made a comment that I don’t care about anything, I just throw things away and have no attachments. Those words punched me, stole the air from me, I do care about things. I cared about Doug’s grandmother’s dishes. I cared about the poster of the Rat Pack that my son lovingly gave me one year that someone took before I could off my walls. The cards my daughter made me. I cared about my pie safe and my things. They all held memories to me. They all spelled home. But that shock of being conned and having to leave so quickly certainly did aide in my getting out.
Oddly enough, I kept all the canned goods I had put up the previous years. This was no easy feat. Margie’s walls were lined with boxes of dusty jars of apples, tomatoes, potatoes, jams, pickles, and peppers. I kept thinking I should try to sell them, but I didn’t. I could not imagine where I would be or where we would end up so I couldn’t figure out what to keep because I didn’t know if we would be in an RV, in a tiny house, or under a viaduct. I couldn’t see what was next but the homesteader in me brought the canned goods.
I always go a little overboard. It is easy to do with canning. The first year I preserved over 700 items. Last year over 500 because we were moving and I fell short of my goals. This year I canned a few jellies before we had to go. But the lovely thing about home preserved canned goods is that they last for years. If there is no mold, and the lid is secure, then save it! I have one jar of apricot syrup that is five years old but the rest are newer and still very good. So, yesterday I lined the laundry room shelves with my remaining canned goods from years past. It was a calming and warming action to be placing jars of food along the wooden shelves ready for winter. Even though I took the summer off, some of my work had been done the year before. A stocked pantry always looks lovely.