Preparing For Winter in the South

big-vegetable-garden-lgFall is in the air, in northeast Mississippi.  It seems just like yesterday, we were complaining about the hot, humid, weather.  Now, it seems we may be getting a much needed break.  This time of the year puts me in mind of my grandmother & preparation. 

You see, as I was growing up, both sets of my grandparents planted & grew gardens.  Me and my brother stayed with my Mama Boyce & Papa Clyde, (Daddy’s mama & daddy) while Mama & Daddy were at work.  This meant after school & summers were spent, doing whatever it was we could get away with, at their house on Leedy Hill. Papa Clyde & Mama Boyce always had a big garden every summer. We affectionately referred to it as the truck patch.  I never really knew why it was called a truck patch.  It wasn’t even close to a truck.  If anyone out there knows, please enlighten me.  Anyways, we worked in the garden all summer long.  We would get out in the hot morning sun & pick whatever it was that was in at the time.  We picked purple hull peas, squash, tomatoes, okra, corn, cucumbers, butter beans, green beans, pretty much anything you could think of.  Then, there were plums, apples, strawberries, mucadines, peaches, pears, all kinds of fruit trees, too. My brother can still tell you the exact whereabouts the pear tree was on the property.  I’m sure because he picked up many a pears off the ground, before they ruined.  Mama Boyce made sure little went to waste around there. We shelled peas & butter beans, snapped green beans, shucked corn, & basically helped to work up the vegetables, so that Mama Boyce could put them up.  She canned & froze the vegetables.  She made pickles out of the cucumbers & okra.   She would call my Aunt Edna over to make jelly. 

My Aunt Edna laughs & says, “Mama had a child for everything.  If she needed something from town, she would call on Mary Helen.  If she needed to go to the doctor, your Daddy took her.  If she had to go to the hospital she wanted Tooter to help her.  If she needed help when she got out of the hospital, she would call Nancy.  If anyone was coming to visit or if the garden came in, she called me.”  Looking back, summers were dedicated to preparing for winter. It was a canning, freezing frenzy of a time.  Mama Boyce & Papa Clyde were determined we were going to have plenty to eat, while it was cold outside.  We had a big family, so that was a lot of preparation. They most certainly knew the importance of working & not being lazy.  The result, from the summer garden, was food in abundance all winter long.  It was a matter of taking care of their own.  Not haphazardly tossing caution to the wind, just sitting around waiting for someone else to provide for us. They realized things just did not happen.  They taught us hard work & preparation is key to success & survival.

Proverbs 6:6 says  Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:

7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,

8 Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

There is a method to the madness of an ant.  It’s preparation.  Just as my grandmother saw the importance of preparing for the winter.  There was no rest for those few months.  But, in the colder months, when our bellies were full of warm comfort foods, we understood why she insisted we be such worker ants.  It’s easier to appreciate the bountiful harvest, once the hard work is over.

There is something else that’s being prepared right this minute. That’s our home in heaven.

John 14:1-3  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

I am so thankful for my preparing grandmother, but I am most thankful for my preparing Savior. What a blessing to know Jesus is making preparations for me to come be with Him.  That makes me smile!  I hope it makes you happy, too.  His preparations for us as Christians, in the end,  will make everything worthwhile.  Just as my earthly grandmother was so thoughtful in her preparing for our needs, the Lord is thinking of us right now, while he prepares for us to be with Him for eternity.  That should just make us feel really good.  Like chocolate gravy & biscuits good.

I am so glad you came by to visit with me today.  I always love when you stop by.  I hope you are getting some good fall weather wherever you are. Enjoy the rest of your day!  As for me, I have to be going, because I should be washing clothes.

2 thoughts on “Preparing For Winter in the South

  1. Pingback: Transformation Tuesday | We Sell Social

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