Saturday, September 25, 2010

canning: past and present

Today is certainly a canning kind of day. I strolled through the Farmers' Market around 8:45 on this fine Saturday morning. With a load full of spelt, tomatoes, and apples, I took some time to sip my coffee and listen to the mandolin and guitar-pickin' before me, with two cutest 60'-somethin' fellas I've ever seen. The breezy air finally felt like the Autumn it should be, and after receiving some canning advice from the Dodsons, a family of farmers, off I go to a full day of kitchen-work.

And no measly kitchen-work this is. Right now, at 1:28pm, I'm only halfway through the applesauce process. We love our homemade applesauce, though last time we froze it; this time we're canning. I think it will be much tastier UNfrozen.

Now, all that's missing is Michelle, the one who started this all for me. Here's to you, friend, and all the lessons you taught me about slowing down, eating vegetables, and dropping in to see your friends unannounced.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Live together? Why?

It seems a good time in the life of our household to talk about why we insist on having others live in our home. As we enter another season of being a Family, with our brother Jason, we're eager and excited. With every housemate comes a new dynamic, new gifts, and new challenges. Tonight was spent with what is pretty usual with a new housemate - lots of get-to-know-you conversation, heavy topics, family history, etc. - the things that you just couldn't get to in a normal night of hanging out, but with hours of being in the same space, you now have all the time in the world for!

We frequently get many questions or many responses such as, "I could just never do that," and "How long are they staying again?" and, plainly, "Why?"

Why? Because we love it. Because life is much richer with 1 or 2 more than just the two of us (though the Pates are pretty fun). Our marriage thrives (though we have the usual disagreements and frustrations). Our living room is filled with laughter and conversation. Prayers are prayed. Dinners are cooked. Bills are shared. Burdens are carried. Gardens are grown.

The things we once carried alone, we can carry with others. When a relationship is broken, a family member dies - there is another to help us carry the load, to cry the tears. When faith is shaken, when doubts are heavy - there is another there to stand in the gap, to "believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth," alongside us.

Our marriage, our faith, our very lives, are strengthened as we live and work together with the brothers and sisters who live under this roof for 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, indefinitely.

And that, friends, is why the door is always open.