The abundance of fruit makes me anxious. I should be doing something with it. I should be freezing and canning and baking. Once my freezer would have been packed with berries, cherries, and peaches. There were jars of different varieties of jams, jellies, and chutneys. It has been a long time since hungry teens, our children and their friends, came to the table with voracious appetites.

I should be… But of course, I shouldn’t. Those days are over and I’m glad that I don’t have to spend sweltering summer days stirring jam over a hot stove, peeling and chopping fruit, and scalding jars for canning. It was a lot of work but worth it at the time.

Our first home had a large cold cellar, it gave me great satisfaction to enter it and see the rows of jars of tomato juice, canned peaches, pickles and relishes. I enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment and knowing that we were well supplied with food. I grew up watching my mother and her mother canning and preserving it seemed natural to follow their example.

Soon after World War II, there was, to them, a wondrous invention. In our town a food storage facility opened. It stored food in “lockers”, huge freezers with rows of doors that opened to an individual section. My grandfather rented one to hold the meat from his chickens and pigs. He’d say to Grandma, “I’m going to the locker on my way home from work, what do you want me to pick up?”

There has been a freezer in my cellar since soon after I married but it seemed magical when I was a little girl, that Grandpa could go to the locker and bring home food for dinner.