Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tomatoes, Tomatoes, and More Tomatoes

I just finished a three day canning marathon, thanks to my sister-in-law who brought me 6 crates of tomatoes and a bushel of green beans. I haven’t been able to do a lot of canning lately since I can’t have a garden. We live in the middle of the city and have more critters here than in the country. Groundhogs eat absolutely everything. Anyway, doing all that canning brought back a lot of memories of summer days when I was a child and would help my mother can tomatoes.  

There was one time in particular that stands out in my mind. We had been working for a couple of days and our antique dining room table was full of beautifully canned tomatoes and spaghetti sauce…until the table leg broke allowing many of the jars to fall crashing to the floor, breaking and leave a huge mess. Tomatoes were everywhere! My mom screamed and then she ran crying to her bedroom. I cleaned up the mess knowing she was heartbroken over the loss of time, food, and money.

When Dad came home from work I filled him in and he went to check on Mom. A few minutes later he came back and told me to fix some spaghetti for dinner. There was only one box of pasta in the pantry and it didn’t look like the usual size. I went to ask Mom how much to cook and she just told me not to bother her. I went to ask Dad how much to cook and he said, and I quote, “Just cook the whole box.” Well, I did. It was a 5-pound box of spaghetti. Now, for anyone who eats pasta knows that 5 pounds is A LOT, even for our family members that had very healthy appetites. Mom was upset about that, too. I blamed it on Dad. 

When my husband and I bought our house we inherited that old, antique table. The leg is fixed, but you can still see where it broke all those years ago. When I did all my canning this past weekend, I set NOTHING on that table and all my jars are safely stored away.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Olympic Dreams

The TV at our house has pretty much been on constantly since the Olympics began. I enjoy seeing the world come together just for fun – I wish it could happen outside of sports. The games are addicting to watch, even if what’s on isn’t my favorite sport. My favorites include volleyball and gymnastics. As I sit and watch the American women try to fulfill their dreams, I am reminded of dreams of young girls all across the world, even to a little town, that no one's ever heard of, called Jordan. 

Every four years my sisters and I would watch the Olympic gymnastics and then go outside and try to emulate them. We were not successful. In the ‘80’s we watched Mary Lou Retton and she was the one we wanted to be like. We set up a 2x4 in the yard and pretended it to be our balance beam. We would perform all our tricks and then score each other to see who would get the gold medal. Well, you know the old saying, “It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt!”

One time in particular stands out in my mind. While doing the balance beam routine one of us, who will remain nameless, fell off the balance beam. While this gymnast may have felt like a winner, the sprained ankle was the definite loser, growing to the size of an orange as the result of the fall. Keep in mind, the 2x4 was flat on the ground so there wasn’t far to fall. How one can accomplish that feat deserves a gold medal in spite of performance!

While I don’t remember badminton being an Olympic sport when I was a child, it is now. Badminton was another one of our favorite pastimes, and still is when we get together over the summer. I think us sisters could give the Olympic competitors a run for their money in badminton…at least in my mind.  

The Summer Olympics are almost over for another four years. Enjoy them. Recall Olympic memories from your childhood. Tell them to your family and laugh over them if necessary. It’s never too late to fulfill your dreams, even if it is all in your head.