I always think of homemade tomato juice as the essence of summer distilled in a jar: sweet, hot and thick as August humidity.
This year though, my girls and I are preserving special memories while we can up our garden produce.
Sweet memories of working and laughing together, doing something I’ve always loved, which they are now acquiring an appreciation for.
We note the good smell of tomato steam rising from the stove. We comment on the beauty of bell peppers and ripe juicy tomatoes as we peel and dice.
We converse with the little guy watching us from the living room, where he lies in the floor on his “kick and play” mat.
The fact that he’s in his parents’ living room instead of the NICU where he spent the first eight months of his life is sweet beyond words.
He “talks” to us around his trach, delightful sounds that keep us smiling while we work. We pause every few seconds to “talk” back, and make faces at him.
One or the other of us is back and forth every few minutes to change a diaper, suction his trach or just play a while.
It takes us all afternoon to fill a few jars, but I can’t think of a better way to spend my time.