Thursday, September 15, 2011

May I Take Your Coat?

Today seemed as good as any to can those tomatoes.  They have been staring me in the face every time I go outside to take care of the ladies.  I worked hard this week to get most chores and town errands done so I could tend to them before the varmints did.  Seeing that we're enjoying cooler weather and dinner was in the crock pot (split pea soup - Max's favorite!) I set about this task.

Canning tomatoes is just like any other task in life.  It's all in the prep work!  Get your work stations set up (ice bath, pot of boiling water, compost bin to discard the skin) and the rest is a breeze.  Still I found myself dragging my feet a bit and thinking, "why am I going to spend this time when I could just buy canned tomatoes?" and "how much gas am I going to use canning?"  But what's the point in growing the stuff if you don't do something with it.

It wasn't until I was slipping off their skins (taking their coats) that it occurred to me just how beautiful each and every tomato was just under the surface.  Despite the scars, or a little discoloration, each one was lovely and had value.  Which got me thinking, of course: we're not all that different than tomatoes. 

Just to bring the point home, I'll share a little what I learned yesterday volunteering at my daughter's high school.  Those people who "check in" and greet visitors?  They're really there for those kids.  Why am I surprised?  One gal said she makes sure to say "good morning" to as many kids as she can, even bringing candy to get them to come up to her.  She believes she may be the only friendly face some see that day (shout out to you Kris!).  The other gal believes "there are no bad kids, just kids who haven't gotten something they need."

Incredible.  So was the canning worth it?  You bet!  I guarantee you this lesson wouldn't have occurred to me as I hurriedly drove into town and hastily looked for parking.  Maybe there is something to the old Shaker song "tis a gift to be simple."

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