Monday, September 7, 2009

Tomatoes On My Ankles (Email Classics)

Written September 5, 2oo9

Yesterday afternoon, I was just wrapping up a writing project, had already run all the mom/household errands, and just learned that we won't be elbow-deep in pig parts until at least Saturday evening or Sunday after church. Do you know what this meant? Was it possible?? I started getting all warm and fuzzy at the prospect of a date with Mike. Maybe sneak off to dinner or a movie. Just the two of us. It doesn't happen often. After living in the sick house for over a week, it would be a welcome outing.

Then I glimpsed the massive rolling cooler sitting in my dining room, full of tomatoes gazing pleadingly at me to end their miserable half-life -- they're no longer growing and sunning themselves in the garden, but they haven't yet fulfilled their destiny to provide nourishment for our family..... (Ok, I'd promise to quit ascribing human qualities to the vegetables, but I'm just not sure I'll be able to keep that promise.) The bottom line is, the tomatoes were picked Sunday, a week of fevers, snot, sniffles and questionable bathroom behaviors intervened, and it was now Friday, and we were going to lose the whole lot if we didn't jump on it.

So, I resigned myself to the fact that the responsible thing to do was to can those tomatoes. My friend in farming Emily stopped by and dug in, as she always does, bless her little pointed head.

The preparing the tomatoes for canning was time consuming but easy work. The waiting for three batches to be done, when you had to boil EACH batch for 95 min (altitude adjustment required) was the pits.

Not only did I not enjoy a lovely date with my hubby last night, I woke up this morning to find myself sitting straight up in a chair in the living room, apron still on, and with tomatoes splashed on my ankles and feet. Mike is crashed on the couch. In a moment of panic I looked over to the kitchen to make sure we'd turned the heat off of the last batch of tomatoes. We had.

Then I looked down again at my getup and my 2nd thought for the morning was "I just LOVE this apron. I think it's my favorite." (Thank you again, Aunt Carol, for my beautiful birthday aprons. Today my favorite is the burgundy/gold/sage/cream/black floral striped one.)

What a vision Mike and I present. Him in fetal position, cold on the couch; me with feet flat on the floor - and judging by the crusty little texture where my cheek and mouth meet, undoubtedly I had some head lolling and mouth breathing going on for at least part of the night. We're beautiful.

Romance on the farm can be hard to come by. Especially with tomato ankles.

Love from the farm,

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