Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Modern Day Conveniences or Distractions

This week I went back in time, leaving behind modern day convenience to revisit the days of "doing it by hand".

I am a total city girl.  I was raised in Austin, the capital city of Texas, and later-in-life moved to the huge Metroplex of Dallas/Fort Worth.  I enjoyed my visits to my grandparents' farms, but I have never had to grow my own food or sew my own clothes in order to survive.  Anything I have done has been because I chose to do it.
Isaiah 60:21
Then will all 
your people be righteous and they will possess the land forever. They are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor.

So that is why I say that this week I went back in time to do things by hand.  I chose to make strawberry jam.  Yes, I have canned in the past, but put it away for modern conveniences years ago because of my busy family's schedule.  I was so delighted at the end of the process, not only with the product, but also the enjoyment I felt from accomplishing this task.  No, I probably didn't save any money, genetic brands are very cheap. But I know my product was healthier as I limited the sugar.

While I was on a roll in my Lucy apron, June Cleaver mode, I decided it was time for some homemade strawberry ice cream.  In Texas, we are already having 80 degree weather and I haven't made homemade ice cream in years.  So I pulled down my electric ice cream maker...still a little out of date since it requires ice and rock salt.  We assembled it in our backyard and plugged it in, to the dismay of our neighbors, who would hear the noise and yet not enjoy the final product....life on a postage size lot!

As I was watching the ice cream maker do it's job, I realized my children have never seen a hand-cranked ice cream maker, nor participated in my canning.  Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
1 Thessalonians 4:11
Make it 
your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you,

I realized that, although I would never give up my modern conveniences, I'm afraid we have lost some things along the way...

,,,mainly PATIENCE and the products from the work of our HANDS!

As a child, anticipating the ice cream, I helped turn the crank...it became a whole family event.  When I canned with my mother and grandmother, we all gathered around the backyard in metal, bouncing, yard chairs, to snap beans and peel peaches. Later enjoyment of the food brought a sense of pride, as well as the  patience learned.  Relationships were enhanced during the task.

There were lessons that were learned in the "doing it by hand" times.  Everyone washed the dishes, everyone picked the garden, everyone turned the ice cream freezer.  We sat in the den and hand-sewed with ongoing conversations.  Abilities and stories were passed down to the next generation.

I went to bed the other night with a grin on my face and a contentment in my heart because I had used my hands in a different way that day.  I still clean my own house, cook our meals, homeschool my children....the list goes on and on.  I love my modern day conveniences but... I think I will look for ways to bring some of the old lessons back into my family. Maybe I will find a hand-cranked ice cream freezer to start out with....don't you know my high tech adult children are going to pitch a fit (that's a Texas word for not happy)!

10 Joining in with more words:

Cindy (Letters From Midlife) said...

There is nothing more satisfying to me than to do canning and see rows of jars of jam, fruit or veggies lined up in the pantry. I haven't done canning in several years though, because it is work and time consuming, plus our family has decreased considerably as the kids grow up so I haven't felt the need to stock up as much.

Still, your post inspires me to consider doing some canning this year and with strawberry season fast approaching, maybe jam is just the thing to do!

alicia said...

Your post is very inspiring and your canned jam looks amazing. Great job. I might just have to think about this.

Sonja said...

Hi Janette:

Isn't it interesting that what is old becomes new again? In this fast paced, fast food world, we are drawn back to the simple things we remember, and they begin to take on new importance.

I love that you canned, and made homemade ice cream... and I also understand the appreciation for the modern conveniences. Maybe some of both would be good, she said... as she left home to drive through and get an egg mcmuffin!!



Debbie said...

Oh Janette I soo enjoyed this post this morning. I haven't done any canning in years, but looking at your pot I could smell it. Homemade ice cream sounds soo good right now..Yumm...You know it's funny when you mention your kids knowing this. When my daughter was around 14 it struck me that while she knew 5 ways to throw a softball pitch and excelled in school, what did she know about how to cook or bake anything, and how well did she know how to keep house? All things she would need to know to keep her own house someday married or not. Well, it began my project. Who would have ever thought that my sports minded girl would LOVE cooking and take to it the way she did. She is a WONDERFUL cooker and baker and good thing as she lives on a dairy farm in the middle of nowhere without many drive thru restaurants around, haha Her hubby sure appreciates it too. I love your thoughts about passing down things like this from generation to generation..soo true.(OR SHOULD BE)Have a wonderful day..thanks soo much for your prayers...HUGS, Debbie

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

I have never made jelly or jam and have wanted to for a while now. I guess I just need to get in there and do it!

Love your post Janette. You are inspiring!

Debbie said...

It sounds like fun!

I'm also a city girl but it's wierd because I love to see photos of the country. I always loved to watch shows like the Walton's growing up. My family thought I was nuts.

I have to confess that I've never made homemade ice cream nor even seen it made. We used to get ours from the Good Humor truck as he patrolled through our neighborhood.

But it certainly looked like you enjoyed yourself. Hmm ...maybe one day.

Sending hugs,

Beautiful pear tree lane said...

Janette, Your jam looks delicious, and that strawberry ice cream, yummy! I agree with all the modern conveniences I think we have lost something. Just this week our hot water heater went out, and we were without hot water for 2 days, I went back to when I was living at grandmothers, heated our bath water on the stove, poured in the tub. Voilla! I actually enjoyed the memory. lol Thanks for sharing this lovely post.

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Yes to everyone...it was fun and didn't take as long as I remember...some modern conveniences help with that.
I wouldn't want to go back full time...sorry for the hot water heater...we went without a ref. for over two weeks, and lived out of ice coolers, no fun.
I do think we miss some of the pleasures and joy it could bring us if we slowed down.
Like Sonja...on my way out the door for my Chia Tea from Starbucks...still a city girl.
Come to Texas and I will make any of you home-made Ice Cream

e-Mom said...

I loved reading your story! And that gorgeous pink ice cream... WOW. I'm a city girl too, so it's really a treat to peek into the activities of women from days gone by. :~D

Leslie @ Farm Fresh Fun said...

Dear Janette, I am so happy for you, seeking out and FINDING the simple pleasures that make us slow down and appreciate what we've already been blessed with... I WILL come for some of that ice cream if ever I get to Texas. I'd love to meet you and hope YOU will come visit our farm if ever you're near MD!

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