Canning Memories

Spring is in the air and that got me thinking….yep it’s that time again to grab a glass of wine, or whatever and come take a trip with me down memory lane.


In the spring, Mom always got ready to start her canning. She would get the jars out of the attic, wash them, put them back in the boxes all clean and pull out the pressure cooker and have everything ready for the harvest right around the corner. I was thinking about how canning was a lot like life, we take our fresh veggies and put them in a state to enjoy them later. If only we could do the same with memories….oh but we can and do with pictures. The problem is if we don’t do the canning process correctly, then the food will spoil, just like our pictures.


No, the wine isn’t getting to me, yet. How many of you have sat and looked at old family photos? You pull them out and look at faces from the past and yet, some of them you don’t either know who they are, or know the date the photo was taken. Such a shame when there is no one left to let us know who and where something was celebrated. Someone thought the time and date was important to preserve it with a photo, but the canning process went wrong, the photo is spoiled, and no one knows any details about it.

When we travel we take lots of photos. We go photo crazy sometimes; and why not? Photos don’t cost us anything unless we print them out; we might as well take as many as we can. The problem is after we return home; if we don’t immediately go through the photos we start to forget. The wine or whatever we had on vacation starts to cloud that memory or day and things start to get a little fuzzy.

The days and events start to blend together and suddenly you find yourself doubting what you actually did on vacation. Did you actually go to this place and do these things? The photos say you did, but your mind is not in tune with the photos. You remember taking the photo and clearly it was you that took it, it was your camera, but when, how, why, and where all seem to be a mess in your mind.

Once the cans were clean and the pressure cooker was ready to go, Mother would then clean out the pantry making room for the fresh crop. The canning process was not ready to start just yet. There was some prep work still needed to be done.

travel journal 0

When we get ready for a trip we bring our camera and memory sticks, and sometimes our lap top to download photos at the end of the day. We should always include a journal as well. We aren’t going to remember those pictures every single one once we get home. A journal is a great way to keep track of where you went and what you did. That journal needs to be ready to go before the trip begins. My suggestion is to start the journal a week or two prior to the trip. Every night sit and just jot down a line or two about packing, being nervous, feeling excited, hating your job at the moment…whatever comes to mind. This will get you in the habit of writing every night and gives you some last minute planning details about the trip.

The way you take photos will also help. One person suggested to me once to take a photo of the ground every time you leave a destination and go to a new one. That works really well if you don’t accidently take photos of the ground. If you are like me, after that third glass of vacation wine, I’m snapping photos of the ground, and that doesn’t work for me. Taking photos of the restaurant menu and even pointing to what you ordered is a great way of keeping track of where you ate, and that goes with where you are. If you are at a museum take photos of the signs explaining what you are looking at, the name of the museum before you go in and then again when you leave so you know the photos in between those two are from that museum.


A video diary at the end of the day is a great way of keeping track of the events and photos, saving post cards from locations with notes on the back of each one. If you like to draw then doodle in the journal, a cartoon of the day’s events is a fun way of keeping thoughts straight. The size of the journal should be small enough to fit in a backpack or bag, so while you are waiting for a bus, train, or travel partner to get out of the bathroom, you can jot down a line or two, or draw a silly picture.

Just like there are endless veggies and fruit out there to can, there are endless ways to preserve your memories. Take time to find the right recipe that will work for you and then follow that recipe. Don’t let the cans of your labor spoil by not taking the time to label and can them properly.

beach sand

Then after you return home from that trip, sit with a glass of wine, have your friends and family over and you can have more than one glass, because your photos will all be labeled and you can tell them exactly what each one is about. Even that photo of the ground that you took after that third drink on the beach… can delete that photo……

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