Feeling uninspired as a writer? Check. Feeling a lack of success as an artist? Check. Feeling sorry for myself? Perhaps the biggest check of all, and if you’ll bear with me for one more-I recognized a reality check was in order.
Yesterday I spent a few hours doing some good old fashioned home canning. I’d been staring at a 23 pound box of red Bartlett pears for a few days and decided they weren’t going to can themselves. And I also kicked my own can a little and told myself that moping around and staring at a computer screen were not how I want to spend all of my time.
What I love about canning is not only the satisfaction of a job well done, when I am done, but I love the process. It’s hot, and I dirty a lot of dishes and utensils. Boxes of produce and kettles of water are heavy, and I get tired. My back hurts. But I’m serious about liking every second of it, because sometimes it just feels good to do some hard physical work.
Women in the past knew all about that. My mom told me recently that her grandmother used to get so tired she wanted to die. Cooking for the threshing crews and cleaning up, only to have to do the same thing over and over and over-plus do all the other household work too.
I have it pretty easy. I wash a couple dishes, and then moon about my lack of inspiration as I try to write a blog post. I sweep the kitchen floor and then obsess over my Etsy shop statistics. So it’s no wonder that when I bought my vintage canner a few years ago, the clerk asked me what I was going to use it for. “Canning,” I replied quizzically. I guess the obvious wasn’t so obvious any more.
Today I am pretty satisfied with my gleaming jars of pears. Due to the gorgeous red skin of these particular Bartlett’s-the finished pears have a lovely rosy pink tint to them. I know that come winter they will taste good as well as being pretty to look at.
Now back to the internet…
(To post this!)