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Monday, October 10, 2016


That title sounds rather like a Peter, Paul and Mary tune, doesn’t it?  It’s also the truth. Fall is here and winter is not far behind.

It’s the time of changing colors, mums, football and sweaters. Four our great-grands, it would have been harvest time. That means canning and smoking meat and cutting firewood and… The list must have felt endless, even to them.

I am a farmer’s granddaughter. Though by the time I was five, the farm was sold and my dad’s folks were living in town, I remember the stories. Grandma still canned and made bread five loaves at a time—she fed a large extended family on the farm--and scrapple. 

[Scrapple is made with leftover scraps of pork. Since Grandma used everything but the oink, she also took the bits of available meat from the pig’s head. I’ll never forget the “Godfather” moment of coming face to snout with the porcine cranial unit sitting on ice in Grandma’s utility sink. Almost put me off scrapple… Almost.]

I wonder if all the stories of all that work are why I almost always set my stories in spring or summer? March, April, June… There was still work, but not the kind that would mean eating or starving over a long, cold winter.

Even HER SANCTUARY, my latest release included in the boxed set, A KISS TO REMEMBER, is set in March.  In the first draft, the story was a Halloween tale, but it ended up at Easter time instead. Oh, well. There’s always next time.


  1. Tracy, you brought back memories, but for me it was of my great grandparents. I still remember plucking chickens, milking a cow - oh what we did when we were young. It's probably why I no longer can, or even try to grow a garden. Wasn't good at it then and never got any better. *Sigh* Doris PS Loved your story.

  2. My maternal grandmother could just look at a plant and it would grow. Not a gift I inherited, either, Doris.

  3. My grandmother had a huge garden every year and canned like a mad woman over the summer months. She traded some of her goods for those from her friends. This barter also included crocheted items. It seemed she was busy all the time. I can certainly understand how it was for your grandmother. Pop taught my sister and me how to garden using organic, natural techniques and I still love gardening. It's much smaller now, but it brings me peace. My parents canned from the garden and loved making catsup. Every year they'd try a new recipe or tweak an old one.
    Your post was a walk down memory lane for me. BTW, I do not like scrapple--or liver pudding as it is called in the south.
    I wish you every success with your story, Her Sanctuary in the collection, A KISS TO REMEMBER.

  4. Tracy,
    Autumn is my favorite time of year with winter a close second. I look forward to the first hard freeze, because that means a period of Indian Summer will follow in most years. But there's also an urgency in the fall to get *thing*/chores taken care of for the coming winter months. Even with all of our modern conveniences, I still feel a need to set-in supplies of nonperishable groceries, bottled water, candles/oil lamps, and such. I think part of the urge to winterize comes from doing this when I was growing up. We always experienced electrical outages, which meant the water pump wouldn't work. Since I lived in the country, our road to town would be closed for days after a blizzard. Then again, I wonder if the need to prepare for winter is a primal instinct for survival that is part of our human-ness.