Sunday, July 30, 2017

Down memory lane

I never know from year to year whether I will have a garden, or if I do, whether I will decide to can or not to can.  Each year I seem to drop another thing from my routine:  The Jersey cow is gone, the chickens are gone.  So I wait to see what's in store each spring and assess my "want-to".  

My garden this year is smaller, but I have lots of tomatoes.  I think I've canned enough for my needs this winter, but there is a lady who is usually glad to come and get any of my extra tomatoes for canning.  I may do some more later; I just want to take a break from the mess. I had just typed this much when I had some visitors.  It was my friend Shirley, whom I'm always so glad to see.  I sent them home with some tomatoes.  Her daughter looked very happy as she got in the car.  
Just a few fruits of my labor
When I bring in canning jars from the garage, they spark happy memories.  I got rid of at least half my jars years ago, knowing I'd never use them all again.  I should dispose of more, but believe it or not, I'm very sentimental about my canning jars.

Some of them were given to me by my mother after I got married and started gardening.  I'm sure my mom never bought new jars in her life, because most of those were mayonnaise jars, which used to work great for canning.  But a few of the real canning jars were obviously very old.  Yesterday I wasted at least an hour trying to find out just how old some of them are.

The blue jars were made between 1923-1933.  I remember my mom saying that when she and Daddy married in 1932, her mom gave her a lot of home-canned goods:  Green beans, tomatoes, jams and jellies.  I like to think perhaps these originally came from Grandma.  Old Ball jars are plentiful, and there's lots of information about how to figure out their ages.  However, I found very little help from Google on this next one.  Apparently Atlas jars aren't collected as much.  If I understand correctly, all the manufacturers stopped making the blue jars after the mid-1930's, so this one is very old too.

Here's what leads me to believe it might have been made before the 30's.

Can you see the bubbles in the glass, actually a part of the jar?  I couldn't really find any information about the bubbles, but I would think it would be older, perhaps before they had refined the process of jar-making to keep them from being flawed like this.  

Most of my jars are newer ones I bought myself, but I have an attachment to those too:  Money was scarce at our house back then, and it was a big deal when I bought a case of twelve shiny new jars.  I remember how happy I was to have them.  I have a few marked with the bicentennial in 1976, but most were purchased in the late 60's.

Isn't it silly the things we get attached to?  Then we die, and they'll all be disposed of.  I keep trying to force myself to box up some of my precious jars and take them to Jamesport, where the Amish folks will buy them.  They don't pay much, but I hate to think about anything so hard-gotten being thrown away.  Yeah, one of these days I'll take half of them up there.  Right.  Ha!  I'm already getting cold feet just thinking about it.

In case anybody is wondering, our weather has been perfect!  We got seven inches of rain last week... that was a little much, but afterward the temperatures cooled down nicely.  

That's all my blathering for now.  Peace!


Jackie said...

Another story much enjoyed!

Margaret said...

Those jars are wonderful! I don't can, but my friend Henry does and he makes some great stuff. :)

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I gave all my jars to the salvation army when I downsized. Hopefully someone will get some use out of them. Not many can anymore the way we used to. As we get older there are more and more changes everyday it seems. I've let go of a lot and it's not easy at all.

Missie Ruth said...

I would hate to get rid of those jars to, but the Amish do buy them up.


what a fascinating story about the jars. if i were you i'd hate to part with them. though seeing them in a good home would help soften the blow of parting with them.