My mom is getting preserves for her birthday

Today is my mom's birthday, and this is her present.

I think my mom was a little mystified when I started canning. Actually, I think she didn’t realize at first how much canning I was doing. And then when she did, I think she thought I was a little crazy.

I think I’m a little crazy sometimes. I mean, I work, I dance and I commute two-hours one-way to Wisconsin to see G. And then on top of that, I can and freeze all the food from our garden. From August through October, that’s at least 20 hours of work each week, all squeezed into my two days off. During those months, I sometimes feel like I’m going to work to rest. And I can in other months too, just not as intensely.

But I feel like so much is out of control in my life right now, with my job and my inability to sell my condo in Milwaukee or move back to Wisconsin to live with G. Canning and gardening give me control over something. I can control what I eat.

And, as it turns out, I’ve started to influence what my mom eats too. This year, all she wanted for her birthday — which is today — was food.

G. and I packed up 16 jars of jam, salsa, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, pickled beets and other items and shipped them off to her before Thanksgiving. And now, I’m in North Carolina celebrating with her. Happy birthday, Mom!

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