To everything turn

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This summer, I have yet to can a thing. I’ve frozen a few odds and ends here and there in small batches, usually leftovers from a meal (ie. too much corn on the cob).

I haven’t found the energy for it, and I’m not sure why.

This morning, Fooey and I looked at Soule Mama’s blog together. She loved the photos of children feeding chickens, playing with pigs and sheep, and picking veggies in the garden. “The children have to do a lot of chores,” she observed. I said they were homeschooled, and she said, “Well, of course! Because they have so many chores, they don’t have time for school.” Let me add that she said this with a very positive tone. Not “chores” as in drudgery, but “chores” as interesting activities.

I felt a pang for the seasonally lived life. “It’s lot of work,” I said. “It’s their whole life.”

I know that’s why I read Soule Mama’s blog: to live vicariously, just a tiny bit. To imagine pulling off muffins baked before kids come downstairs and weeding with baby riding on my back and preserving food and painting rooms pretty colours and renovating an old farmhouse and being a homesteader. When I was a young teen, I spent many happy hours imagining life as a homesteader, out in the middle of nowhere, building a self-sustaining life from scratch. I don’t know why it appealed to me, but I know it was a fantasy that hasn’t had much impact on my actual day-to-day life, even though remnants of the fantasy remain, fondly.

Maybe I’m too lazy.

Today, I am thinking with admiration about all those hard-working people who live seasonally. Right now, in Canada, if I were living truly seasonally, I would be canning like crazy. Now is the time! Grab the moment! Preserve summer. Instead, I’m lost in thought before a computer. I’m at a soccer field until dusk. I’m going for a run. I’m vacuuming dog hair.

But I have some angst over not canning. I feel like I should be. And I feel tired too, worn out, a bit, by the continuous nature of living, the daily demands, being unable to catch up or keep up. Laundry, meals, basic family hygiene, household demands. We attempted to get the kids doing regular chores earlier this summer, and we didn’t stick to it. (We should try again, for their sake and for ours.)

Maybe that’s what impresses me most about those people who are growing our food for us, and those people who are living off the land: they stick to it. Nature won’t let them stop, and they don’t. I’m sure they’d like to, sometimes. I’m sure weariness sets in.

I need something similar to attend to, a project larger than myself, more meaningful. (Or is this just August talking–a wistful month, I always find, during which I feel nostalgic for what’s passing even though it’s still right here all around me?)

Tales from the party
Camp kids

9 Comments

  1. As a fellow Soulemama reader (and new mum – my daughter is pushing seven weeks now) I do empathise. One day, I keep saying, I WILL keep chickens…

    (Btw, have just started The Juliet Stories and am loving it!)

    Reply
    • Yay! I’m always glad to hear someone has discovered Juliet.

      Now that we have dogs, I’m thinking they might cancel out our chicken fantasy … not completely, though. I can just imagine how to turn out shed into a coop.

      Reply
  2. I know just how you feel. I find the day-to-day stuff of being a city person overwhelming at times and yet I keep thinking I should be canning and preserving and living better too. Although really, what does better mean? Right now I know I need to be satisfied by just having a garden and eating it all up in the summer – it’s only year two for us and the current youngest (for now) is turning two next week. And so I too will continue to live vicariously through Soule Mama…

    Reply
    • I love my herb garden too and use it regularly. Maybe I should be more appreciative of the little things we are managing to do.

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  3. Because our life has been such in flux this summer, I haven’t done any of my canning or jamming yet. I’m hoping to get some in this summer as I can’t imagine not doing at least one batch of jam or not having peaches in the winter. I’ve only been to one farmers’ market this year, too. It’s been so strange not connecting to the season through the food this year. It makes me a little sad, actually.

    Reply
    • I just impulsively ordered a 1/2 bushel of tomatoes for canning on Saturday. I’ll probably be kicking myself come Saturday, but I can’t NOT put up tomatoes! A 1/2 bushel isn’t much, but enough to get me started. Maybe once I get going, it won’t see so hard??

      I have to admit our freezers are still fairly full from all my efforts last summer. We still have a ton of fruit. I didn’t use nearly as much as I’d planned to last winter, so I’m not as motivated on that front.

      Reply
  4. I had these exact thoughts yesterday as I was reading Soule Mama. A pang of guilt, failure even. Reading your two recent posts has helped bring me back to appreciating the choices I have made. Really, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
    Thanks Carrie!

    Reply
  5. You, too lazy?! Not a chance…just different priorities! Carry on as you are until you are led in a different direction!

    Reply

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