filling jars


It’s dark now when Eric gets home from work. And I’m either dusty and covered in leaves, with Queen Anne’s lace seeds stuck to my wool sweaters, or…I’m…not…dusty and covered in leaves. Queen Anne’s lace seeds are stuck to my wool sweaters, always. Forget-me-not seeds on my shoelaces and the cuffs of my jeans.


We cleaned out the cellar recently (clean is relative when the floor is made of dirt and the walls are stone and home to all sorts of spider). And among other treasures (including a ridiculous leather vest with buckles that smells horribly of mold) I found some of Aunt Margaret’s quart Atlas jars covered in 50 years of dirt floor and spider. I don’t know how we go through so many canning jars but we do. There are times when I have bushel baskets spilling over with them and I think “why am I hoarding all of the jars in the universe?” and then there are times, like now, when I don’t know where they all could have possibly gone. Except I know exactly where they are. They are in the pantry filled with tomatoes.  And they are in the soap room filled with almond oil and olive oil, peppermint and geranium and calendula steeping inside the glass. And they are in my seed room filled with hopi dye sunflowers and rattlesnake pole beans and the forget-me-nots I was able to keep off of my shoelaces.


There are times when I feel like my job is quite lonely. And there are times when I wake up in the morning dreading what lie ahead for me that day. The dread fades when I think about what it is I have to do. None of it is dreadful. Sometimes it is quite lovely. Other times monotonous. One might consider it disgusting on occasion, or tiring, but not dreadful.  And that fact eases the loneliness. Because I am doing something I love.


Yesterday on my way to and from the post office I saw a dozen and a half people and I wondered what on earth was happening in the Village. Was it a holiday? It was the most people I’ve seen during the week since summer. It made me wish for more bustle. But on Halloween the Village was positively bustling and I hid in the kitchen with all of the lights off. I didn’t have any candy. I thought of handing out soap or beans, but I decided instead to just turn the lights off. I am one of those people.

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