Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The inspiration at the bottom of the colander

Not much blogging going on in 2014  It's been a myriad of hospitalizations, doc visits, more rare diseases, mostly lung- a few skin, etc. since January. But in the middle of all of this, I try to do regular farming things..... Like picking strawberries, cleaning them, making strawberry jam, farmers markets and tending animals, etc.

This week I had just had a biopsy and it was my first complete "all out" one, so of course it went fine in technicality.  My thoughts throughout it were, how long will this biopsy take? because I have strawberries I cleaned and cut the night before waiting for me in The Garry Farm Cookery.

So when The Doc got to the questions I might have, I said "how many pounds can I lift without ripping these stitches wide open?"   (This is a wonderful new Doctor and he gave me a quizzical look and I explained I had fresh strawberries that had to become strawberry preserves that afternoon.  They could not wait)..  He was negatory on my moving the large cooking kettle full of water, He did not understand my spirit that I would find a way.... Probably would have been for the the heavy soup cookers full of strawberries like this one:

Dear hubby didn't want me to do anything after surgery but he knew better than to "waste his time" He helped by filling two heavy pots full of water and the rest was mine! For me, making preserves is Extreme Precision, absolute therapy.  It is a mind over matter game.  Keeps my mind off of "me",  as I must focus 100% on the task at hand, one wrong move and hours and hours of picking and preparation and product are wasted.   Everything is sanitized and ready and slow cooking without pectin takes hours. Heavenly smells of strawberries wafted in the Cookery.

During the last boiling for the filled jars, I sat down for the first time in 4 hours and glanced at some photos made the day before of the cleanup.  I was filling up a bucket for the compost from the colander over the sink and what did I find?   A tiny scrap in the shape of a valentine.   Somewhere a little sweet angel sent me some encouragement in the tedious job of cleaning up the kitchen sink.  My berries were very dirty as they had been splashed by dirt in a rainstorm. and it took quadruple washing and a very soft vegetable brush before the cleaning was completed.  I think the spectacular gift must have been from my sainted sister as only She ever loved strawberries as much as I.   All of her china had strawberries on it and many of the items in her kitchen. Strawberries always seemed to find a place in her home, on aprons, pictures, children's clothing, and more.  Thanks Annelia, sweet sister angel. That strawberry valentine has found a place in my treasure of memories and as I was cleaning, my heart just changed from dread of the drudgery to JOY of the journey. Have you ever had something occur that did that?

If I had not been looking, I would have missed that strawberry and everything it means to me.  May I always be looking for encouragement and miracles Lord.   And for those of you who think it is a coincidence.  I've trimmed mega thousands of strawberries in my lifetime and never before found a valentine shaped scrap emerge at the bottom of my colander.    Farming brings me so many delightful and joy filled moments.  Thank you Lord for each of them.  I am so grateful for the joys and everything that it takes to bring me closer to you! Amen.