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  • MJ Rodriguez

Preservation


My mom believed in preservation. She believed in preserving sanity in our home, so when insanity threatened to creep in, she and Dad used measures of discipline to quickly restore sanity. For instance, when an argument caused voices to raise, we children had to hug and even kiss each other or sit close and be kind to each other. If heaven forbid, fists were raised, our parents might use a belt, a switch, or some other form of discipline. When we made ugly faces at each other, we might have to spend a lot of time repeatedly making those ugly faces. That form of discipline often ended up causing laughter, thus preserving sanity.


She also believed in preserving good attitudes. Her unusual methods for helping us maintain good attitudes often included a verse of a song or a verse of scripture. Sometimes one of these accompanied the paddling she so lovingly administered. “Let a Christ-like spirit everywhere be found,” she would sing. We were often reminded that God was watching us all the time. We knew He loved us because of the way she loved Him and us, but it’s kind of scary to think of God seeing you misbehave. Kids today learn that Santa is watching them, and they might not receive a gift at Christmas if they misbehave. Believe me, it’s much worse to think that Almighty God who created and controls the universe sees you acting ugly.


My fruit shelf. Mom's was much larger.

Another thing Mom preserved is food. She raised a huge garden beginning in early spring and lasting until fall. From this garden, she (along with the help of us kids) preserved hundreds of jars of fruits, vegetables, and anything else she could. She canned meats such as chicken and fish and made all kinds of pickles such as beets, okra, green beans, as well as cucumbers. She made relishes and sauces. Zucchini squash was used to make one tasty relish. She made tomato sauce, pizza sauce, ketchup, and chili. Applesauce, apple butter, jams, and jellies were imperative for winter meals. She stored potatoes, red and sweet, to last much of the winter.


Without the hard work of preservation, a lot of things would have been different for our family. For one thing, we likely would not have turned out to be good citizens who positively contribute to society. Plus, we could have starved during hard winters. Because of her foresight to preserve, we had plenty to eat until spring arrived and a new garden was planted.

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