I remember as a child washing,
paring, and slicing fruit to dry in a shelved, screened-in chest my grandmother
had made. It was rickety but serviceable as we placed it, loaded with pears, in
the sun to dry the fall's harvest. When the fruit was dry, we layered the dehydrated snacks into covered
tin cans and placed them in a cupboard in the basement. During the winter, I
used to love to creep into the old wooden cabinet in the unfinished rock cellar
to enjoy the sweets.
Through the years our family has
continued this fall ritual, washing, paring and slicing summer's goodness to
enjoy through the winter months. What began with my grandmother has been
carried on by my mother, and now it's my turn to spearhead this tradition. Children,
grandchildren, and even great grandchildren wait to enjoy the results.
This practice has come to mean much
more than just preserving the fruit of the vine. Tradition and love go into
every slice of sweetness.
I just sent this picture to my
children. Their grandmother is dying of cancer, yet here she is still arranging
the pear slices on the drying trays--truly a gift of love.
The grandchildren and great
grandchildren live all over the United States. I went to the post office
yesterday to mail everyone's package of pears. The little families wait for
this time of year just like they anticipate Christmas. The love that comes with
each parcel means much more than the fruit itself.
Family tradition? Yes. A Love gift?
Yes. Nurturing family members? Absolutely.
begins at home, and it is not how much we do...but how much love we put in that
action. Mother Teresa
Take a few minutes today and think
of the traditions of love you are building in your family.
I'm sure my grandmother had no idea
the custom she was starting with her homemade screened in chest filled with
sliced pears. It was a gift of love and continues to be so.
What gifts of love are you giving them?
Mother reading to the great grandchildren when she was well