Deep Thoughts

Can or Can Not—There Is No Try

It’s amazing how many mundane matters conspire to thwart a writer once they’ve gotten on a roll. It seems that whenever I have nothing planned for the week, as soon as I settle into a rhythm with writing, something comes up—then something else, and something else…

It’s Murphy’s law, I guess, and there’s nothing I can do about it.

But really, what would I want to do about it? Almost every one of my mundane matters has to do with my family, so if I wished away everything but writing, where would I be? Pretty sad and pretty lonely, that’s where.

So what brings all this philosophizing on? Well, canning season has finally come to a close. (Hallelujah!) Yes, I am part of a sisterhood of crazy people who till up their lawn so they can plant a bunch of stuff so they can put it into jars and into the dehydrator so they can fill up shelves in their basement against the end-times.

My outdoor canning setup—we may be crazy, but we’re crazy smart

Actually, we start eating our preserved food almost as soon as we put it up, and it’s a good thing COVID hit in March, because we still had plenty to tide us over through the mad rush on the stores at the beginning of quarantine. In fact, it was the first time we have had to rely on our storage to survive (not just pretend), which was surreal. I felt so not-crazy all of a sudden. So it was all worth it.

But it’s always worth it, even when I have to break into my sacred writing time to bust out 40 quarts of apple juice, or 7 batches of grape leather, or 35 pints of stewed tomatoes. There’s really no satisfaction like work well done—and work well done for someone else is even better. The look on my kids’ faces as they drink our homemade grape juice is worth all the writing time in the world.

Well, at least several hours anyway.