Every summer for as long as I can remember, we’ve spent many hours in the kitchen canning.  And growing up, standing over a hot stove was no cool and easy task.  Our dear old farmhouse had a wonderful window air conditioner.  Yep, it cooled right nicely…in the dining room.  But when the stove was on, and you were in the little addition to the kitchen, that air conditioner just didn’t seem to reach very far.  But fans were brought in and we canned away.

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Well, seeing that my garden was an UTTER FAILURE this year (please someone tell me just WHY my tomato plants didn’t grow taller than a foot), I didn’t can home grown stuff.  Enter Walmart and good sales on fruit and the local farmer’s market.

Anyways, a couple Saturday mornings, I’ve canned peach butter and salsa with the classic country radio station playing along.  The smells and sticky juice running down my arms and the rising heat reminded me oh-so-much of all those wonderful summers at home with mom and the seestors.

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And the music, well, the music made me think that Grandma Bland was next to me.  And if I closed my eyes just right, I could imagine the songs of Loretta Lynn and Merle Haggard and the Oakridge Boys were coming from her little old radio.

Grandma with Hank Williams, her brother's classmate in Alabama.  Yes, old country music is deeply entrenched (though I personally don't like Hank Williams).

Grandma with Hank Williams, her brother’s classmate in Alabama. Yes, old country music is deeply entrenched in the family.

There’s nothing like the gift of memories of a hot summer day, home canned produce and good ol’ music.

Oh, and a little rabbit trail story:  Grandma said that Hank Williams (in picture above) asked her out on a date one time.  When we asked, “Why didn’t you go, Grandma?”  She giggled and said, “He was ugly.”  We like our music to be country and our men to be handsome.  Yes, please.

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