Another week of “don’t you get bored now that you’re retired?” I wish that I had time to breathe. I feel like I’m a juggler, I have so many balls in the air I hope they don’t all land on my head. Every nice day there is yard work to catch up on, windows to seal up for the winter, garage to clean, plants to bring in. Then when it rains, it’s time to put away the summer indoor stuff and get the inner sanctum ready for the cold weather months. Judy has wood to bring in, painting to get done, statuary to put away. We wish we were bored. I’m knocking on the door to 90, and still don’t know what it’s like to retire.

Scam Alert! Do not answer your phone if you see Medicare on the caller ID, or talk to anyone claiming they are from Medicare. They will never call you and ask for personal information. Bill and Pat Jackson had the misfortune to meet a deer with the front of their car last Monday. Be careful, there’s a lot of them out there.

Marie and Ken Smith made it safely down to their house in Florida. Marie wants to know why when you cross the Mason Dixon line going south, the churches are all full every week. In the north, the pews are empty.

Time to take out your calendars and mark the coming events:

Hope Restoration will be having their annual Thanksgiving Dinner on Nov. 5. Drive through only. Starts at 4:30 p.m. No need to call for reservations. Just show up.

On Nov. 4 Ron Gabriel will be at the Athens Senior Center at 1 p.m. for his World War II Service Dogs presentation.

On Nov. 11 The American Legion will be holding a bake sale in Prattsville.

Nov. 13 is the WAJPL Chinese Auction at the Windham Wastewater community center across from Chicken Run starting at 10 a.m. with calling at 2 p.m.

Nov. 14 The VFW Auxiliary will be holding their Veterans Day Breakfast at Route 23, Windham

Sympathy to the family of Bill Barnacott of Hunter. His mother, Marion, was well known as the lady with the black hair and all those pins on her lapel. Prayers and condolences to the family of Brian Evans, Vietnam vet, who passed away suddenly. Prayers for Bud Osborn. Healing prayers for George Clark and all of Nellis Newcomb’s siblings.

AS I REMEMBER IT

Fall is here, and I have been sharing the work that was always done before the snow. The outside flowers are always at their peak right now. I waited all summer for the marigolds to bush out and produce abundantly. All of the annuals I put in are blooming. Why are they always the most beautiful before the first frost?

While in Amish Country, I saw all of the pickles that were for sale and thought about crocks. Not the shoes, or the watery residents of Florida, but of the giant crocks that were in our cellar. The ones that mostly come to mind are the pickle barrels and crocks that were seen on the city streets in front of delis. You would ask for a pickle, with your nickel in hand, and the owner would reach in, push away the mother (the scum on the top) and hand you a nice juicy pickle. On the farm, my mother would send us down to the cellar for our pickles. You always pushed the “mother” aside which helped preserve the pickles. Sauerkraut was made in crocks. All of the cabbage would be shredded on a cabbage board and put directly into a giant crock. Salt would be added, and a wooden cover would be placed in the crock, on top of the cabbage. This was weighted down with a big, heavy rock which would put pressure on the cabbage. As it fermented, the cover would keep pressing down with the brine and mother on top.

Some farmers would preserve their meats. Corned beef is just brisket which is brined. Pork belly would be salted down and placed in a crock which would be aged.

All farms had a root cellar or store room built in a hill near the house. When you went into one, you would see all of the crocks lined up. Although they all looked the same, we always knew what was in each one. Some crocks had the manufacturer’s name on the side in blue or black print. Some had the names etched in them, and some had the names raised as the mold carried the inscription.

Very few people still use crocks for storing food. Most of the ones I have seen are on porches with plants in them. Be careful, don’t let them sit all winter as they will freeze and crack. Come spring all you will have is a broken crock.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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