From the Publisher

Fall Gathering

By Eileen Majors

Fall delivers a warmth, drawing families indoors, time to gather what we need for winter, time to visit a local farm or farmers’ market to fill up on the final flavors of the season. Walnuts and almonds, pears, apples and pumpkins, I am ready to welcome all the flavors of fall. As summer leaves us and the Autumn breezes replace hot summer nights, the drive to gather comes naturally for some. Each season’s end has a way of sending its gentle nudges to move us forward.

I recall my earliest memories of gathering for winter, ones I shall long treasure. I was a young bride and certainly had not polished any domestic skills. I had begun playing tennis with a group of ladies. We had such a great time. During our walk home from the morning tennis match, our friend Shirley offered to teach us how to make pickles. We all wanted in. The whole experience of learning how to can was a blast and gave me knowledge to take through my life. My pickles were actually delicious. She soon had us canning peaches, making apple butter and even taught us how to make the cutest curtains using two coordinating fabric prints. I learned to gather ruffles by hand and put it all together for a look that was perfect. This was a trick I used many times after.

I recently ran into my friend Shirley, who recently retired; she and her husband were moving to Oregon and had stopped to say goodbye. I wish I had thanked her for instilling in me something that would bloom and last a lifetime, many things really. I learned more than a few things being Shirley’s back door neighbor. I was able to recently help a friend can pears from her tree for the first time.

If you are one of those people like Shirley, maybe you can share your knowledge with others. Many will find it refreshing, as I did to learn from a pro. Such wisdom is not so readily available today. May I encourage you to share it.