Memories of my childhood would not be complete without remembering all the canning my mother would do each year to store up enough food in anticipation of a long, hard winter with four young mouths to feed.
Everyting that flew, swam, ran, or even grew on the vine would find its way into one of Mother’s canning jars. Nothing was overlooked and I never had to wonder what we would do with our garden bounty. Late July and early August would have my mother pulling out all the old mason jars, counting which ones she could use and how many more she thought she would need. First it was time to count the lids and seals. A bad seal, meant precious food would spoil and we might not have enough to eat during the dead of winter. Next, it was the back breaking work of actually harvesting everything out of the large gardens Mother created every year. Finally, it took an entire weekend to steam, par boil, and blanch everything that went in the jars, freezer bags and other containers used to store away every ounce of extra food that we could.
While other folks in my hometown would make do with store bought goods to fill their bellies on a cold winter’s night, we would dine on fresh vegetables basking in the warm Cajun sunlight just months before. Finish that meal off with frozen, sugared figs straight from our back yard or an ice cold banana “pop” and I’d think I was in heaven!
As writers, we store up story ideas in notebooks, on computers, even scribled on restaurant napkins, with the hope that one…or more…will someday develop into a beautifully woven writerly masterpiece to be shared with the world. Those stored up ideas take the same amount of nurturing and dedication when creating a manuscript to feed young minds as it took my mother all those years ago to make sure four young bodies were fed every winter…
Best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.