THE AUTUMN OF LIFE – News From The Hills

I would like to send a great, big hug to all my friends who have missed me, and especially to those who have sent cards and letters telling me so. Most of you guessed the reason why—I fell again, and fractured my right arm, which kept me from writing or typing. Thank the Lord, I am almost back to normal (whatever that is!)

Without going into an organ recital, I will say that a person shouldn’t stand on one leg like a stork and attempt to pull off their knee-high hosiery! The problem is that I have broken so many bones that I’m having to start over on ones that were previously broken. I’m running out of bones.

I am so blessed in having a husband who takes care of me like a baby, does housework, and has made pickles, and canned green beans and tomato juice. With my right arm in a sling for six weeks, there was little that I could do. I had made the comment some time back that I wished I had time to read. Be careful what you wish for—it just might come true. I had plenty of time.

The fullness of summer seems to have enveloped us. The Rose of Sharon bushes have bloomed and bloomed, while Queen Anne’s lace blossoms are light and airy. The showy blue of chicory flowers brighten the roadsides. However, the first note of autumn creeps in with the Joe-Pye weed towering over the shorter flowers high on the road banks. My sister Mary Ellen declares that she has heard katy-dids chanting at dusk for a while now. That rasping, mournful cry warns us that summer is dying and autumn is coming soon.

The early morning mist seems to linger a little longer each day, and grass and trees have a tired, weary look. Gardens are producing now, and canning and freezing the vegetables are the duty of the country housewife. It is hard for me to admit that my canning days are over, although I have a cellar full of canned goods that I did in the past. I did promise my youngest daughter some pickled corn, but my better half will have to pull the corn, shuck it and carry it to the house. I think I can put it in a churn!

I feel as if I am walking down the autumn phase of my life. I have been told to be thankful for what I am still able to do, and not to worry about the things that I can’t. Thank goodness, I can still cook some, and I love to read recipes. I found a recipe that I used several years ago, and would be good for those folks who are still harvesting an abundance of zucchini.

Use one pound of pork sausage (the hot type is better), one medium onion, thinly sliced, five small zucchini, cut into ¼” slices, one clove of garlic, mashed, one eight ounce can of tomato sauce, one teaspoon of dried basil leaves, ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves, ½ teaspoon of salt, ½ cup of shredded Cheddar cheese, and grated Parmesan cheese.

Panfry crumbled sausage over medium heat for about 15 minutes; drain grease. Add onion, zucchini and simmer about 25 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serves 6. My sister Susie serves it over cooked noodles, and teamed with salad and bread, it will make a complete meal.

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Alyce Faye Bragg

She writes the "News From the Hills" column. Born and raised in the country, and still lives on the same farm where she was raised. Has a sincere love for nature and the beauty of the hills. Began writing in 1981 & currently has three books published. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer