Jocie Brooke here reporting from Hollyhill, Kentucky. Here we are about two weeks away from starting school. Scary! Summer is sliding away into the shadows. My trip with Wes last week was about the only fun thing I’ve done this summer. Well, I did finish writing Bailey’s Bug. Guess that was something. I even got it all typed up and if you want to, you can read it. Just hunt it up by hovering over the Heart of Hollyhill.
You know, hover like a hummingbird. Aren’t they the most fun to watch? Leigh put out a feeder for them and they show no fear even when you are out there around their feeder. They buzz right past you. Sometimes I think they are going to zoom straight into my head. I don’t want to play chicken with a hummingbird. Those little things are feisty.
But busy or not, the summer is slipping away. But one good thing about it being August is that the Mount Pleasant church people’s gardens are producing an abundance and some of it is actually good stuff. I’ve been saying a thank you prayer that most all the cabbage has been gathered until the fall crop comes in. If it comes in. Maybe it won’t. I DO NOT need to see cabbage on my dinner plate for a long time. But I do like some things from the garden. Like corn and tomatoes. Dad sometimes preaches about how you reap what you sow, but when you’re the preacher, you sometimes reap what your church members sow.
Like corn. Mr. Williams brought Dad a gunnysack more than half full of corn last Sunday night. That’s a lot of corn, let me tell you. A lot of ears that have to be shucked and then something done with it. Aunt Love used to handle all that kind of thing. She knew how to freeze and can and whatever anything that came out of a garden. But now, her memory is leaking away and all that corn just made her get kind of nervous. Leigh is no help at all. She grew up in town and has no idea what to do with anything that comes out of a garden. She says they got their corn in the store. In cans or frozen in packages in the frozen food section. Tabitha knows about as much about it as Leigh. I was pretty much on my own, so I called Miss Sally. She told me what to do. She understands about Aunt Love. Said she had an aunt who had hardening of the arteries and forgot things you didn’t think anybody would ever forget. I mean how can you forget how to shuck corn?
Dad would have helped me shuck it all, but he had to go to work. So did Leigh. Tabitha has a job now too. Working at the grocery store where it would have been heaps easier for us to buy our corn already in a package, but Dad said it wouldn’t be half as good. And besides, waste not, want not. Dad says that’s not in the Bible, but the way people are always saying it, you’d think it was. So Monday morning, Aunt Love and I tackled that corn. And she hadn’t forgotten how to shuck it after all. Once it was shucked, I carried all the shucks to throw over the fence to the neighbors’ cows. They came running. Then we washed every ear of that corn and brushed off the extra silks. I wanted to wait till Dad came home to do the rest of it, but Aunt Love remembered enough to think we had to do it right away. So we put on big pots of water to boil. Then I dropped the ears down in the boiling water for a couple of minutes before I dipped them back out to dump into a sink full of cold water. Last we had to cut it off the cob and put the kernels in bags to freeze.
Sometimes it’s not all that easy to reap what somebody else sows. I’m glad that all you have to do to tomatoes is slice them and eat them. But then if one of the members shows up with a bucketful, Aunt Love and I might have to figure out how to can tomatoes. Maybe I’ll get a job!
Do you like putting up the vegetables from a garden? What do you have in your garden? A preacher’s garden can be pretty big with every church member wanting to outdo the others with vegetable gifts. Maybe next Sunday somebody will show up with a watermelon. I know how to reap that garden gift.