Homegrown Cherries

Just a few months ago, I was celebrating the tiny bits of green that had appeared on my cherry trees.
In such a short period of time, we went from green to blossoms to cherries.
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We came home from vacation and our yummy cherries had turned into deep red, dripping with sweetness, dribble juice all over you cherries.
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Beautiful cherries.
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We started picking.  Filling buckets and trays.
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But it didn’t even look like we’d picked.
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I’ve always enjoyed preserving fruit, making jams and sauces, dehydrating and bottling.  But it’s never come from my own backyard.
I’m fortunate to live in an area where there are multiple orchards around me and I can buy from the growers.  This time, to be harvesting from our own trees is really a pleasure.
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I’ve been bottling cherries and making jam.
I’ve never had cherry jam before, but we’ve learned that it’s really tasty.
Freezer jam and cooked jam both.
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It’s a lot of work, but for me it’s work that brings a real feeling of satisfaction.
So much of what I do has to be redone several times a day.  But I love the feeling of lining up the food I’ve preserved and knowing that because of my efforts my family will enjoy it in months to come when the fresh food is no longer available.  And we’ve only harvested from one tree!
I still have another to take care of this week.
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I also find that working with fruit helps me slow down, relax, and notice more of the simple joys of life.  I start looking at the lovely shades of color in the fruit, pondering life in a day and time when work such as this meant survival.   Today I noticed the lovely color of the foam as I cooked some cherry jam.
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And how beautiful it was when it reached a full boil.
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I feel more grateful for the bounty that God has given us, marveling at the genius of a God who created trees that can bring us such delicious pleasure, and such blessings.  I am reminded that God’s economy is one of abundance.

Taking advantage of such abundance, expressing my appreciation for it by putting it to good use and sharing it with others, just feels right.  And that’s an awfully good feeling to carry around in your heart.


Gratitude: good for the soul

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”  -G.K. Chesterton I love that quote.  It’s one of my favorites.
Earlier this week I was feeling a little bit tired, frustrated, and to be very honest, sorry for myself.
I realized that I needed to move to a higher plane of thought, to remind myself that it’s not about me.

So I sat down and wrote some letters of gratitude to people who have blessed my life lately.
It felt good.   In fact, it was a great cure for the way I was feeling.
It reminded me once again that the choice to be grateful is a powerful one.
It changes our lives because it changes us.
And that’s really all that we can control.

So today, find something or someone to be grateful for and no matter how busy you are, do something about it.  Enjoy the lift that will follow your efforts.

Happy day to you!

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