I’ve been canning, jamming, and stocking up the freezer with the season’s fresh bounty. Although we had our first rains last week, up till then we had a beautiful Indian Summer with temperatures in the 80’s clear into October. It made for a perfect ripening period and a happy garden.
My favorite part about having a garden is having fresh, ripe, homegrown tomatoes which I still have been harvesting nearly every day.
Harvest time always reminds me of my grandparents. I came across this note the other day when I was digging out some of my canning jars.
My Grandma Pulliam had written this note and taped it to a box of mason jars she set aside for me, probably a good 10 years ago. With just four words, it’s such a simple note but it says so much to me. Grandma Pulliam lived in Eastern Washington, 5 hours away from me, so these jars weren’t just something she just wanted to get rid of. She could have taken them to Goodwill or passed on to a neighbor but instead, she taped a note to the box and held on to them for me until I could come get them and take them back home. My grandma has since passed, and this note is a treasure I hold dear to my heart.
Below is a leaf from my Grandpa Pulliam’s last tomato plant. When we were visiting his home after his funeral, we noticed his tomato plants along with habanero plants, and cukes were bearing fruit. My sister took some of the hot, hot peppers and I plucked a leaf from one of the robust, fragrant plants. I pressed it between some old pages of a book and now I have the leaf framed and hanging on my wall. It serves as a reminder of my heritage, and the day we said goodbye to my grandpa.
I hope to carry on their their spirit through their traditions. They ground me, make me feel connected and more human. I wish I had known my grandparents better while they were alive. I wish my grandpa could have met my husband. I think they would have gotten along well. For now, I will hold on to these treasures.