It’s noon and it’s been a busy morning. I’ve been occupied in the kitchen making Sungold tomato jam with the tomatoes we picked last night, and canning a few more quarts of beet pickles. Gerry has been puttering around the house and spent a good part of the morning downstairs ironing his shirts.
As I stirred jam, filled jars, and worked in the kitchen I was reminded of another day two years when I had a similar feeling of contentment that I felt this morning–September 2, 2012. I wrote about it here.
On that day too I was busy canning the season’s bounty. Gerry had recently had surgery on his shoulder so was limited in what he could do. He sat at the kitchen table cutting up bananas and putting them in the dehydrator to make banana chips for the grandchildren.
Often, throughout that ordinary day, we commented to one another that “this is what it will be like when we retire”.
We’re there now, retired that is, and as I thought back on this ordinary day and contented myself with simple things around the house this morning I felt abundantly blessed. We are retired. This is what we envisioned.
We just finished a simple lunch consisting of a slice of the bread I made yesterday, a bit of this morning’s Sungold tomato jam, homemade yogurt cheese, peaches and fresh crab that Gerry brought home from the fishing trip he just returned from.
I just took the beets out of the canner and am getting ready to move on to the next activity. Outside it is quiet, the air fresh from the morning rain. I take a moment to stand on the deck and drink in the view wondering if the deer who stopped by yesterday will pay us a visit today as well. Later, I’ll join my bestie in town for a pedicure and will stop by my garden on the way home to harvest things for dinner.
I’ve had a deep sense for a long time that it’s the simple things that satisfy, things that don’t have a price tag attached, things that really aren’t things at all, and that often we are too busy to appreciate the simple blessings in front of us every day. I found myself restless, frustrated by my own busyness, and yearning for a different pace.
This morning as we busied ourselves with things around home, and I was reminded of our retirement vision, I felt a deep sense of gratitude and contentment.
This is what it is like now that we are retired. And we are blessed.
You may be wondering what in the world yogurt cheese is so I thought I’d show you.
A couple of days ago I took two jars of my homemade yogurt poured them out onto cheesecloth. I suspended that package over a bowl in the refrigerator where it’s been for the past couple of days while the whey drained out of the yogurt.
This morning I dumped the yogurt, now cheese, into a bowl and we spread it on bread for lunch. Future batches will be mixed with things like either Sungold tomato jam, assorted herbs and spices, or edible flowers like nasturtium or borage.
I was first inspired to make yogurt cheese by author Sharon Lovejoy who wrote about it here. It’s taken me this long to finally do it. Gerry and I are pleased with the result and I’ll definitely be making more in the future.