Nate and I have been married for nearly fourteen years and I still find myself trying to impress him with my domesticity. I don't know what that says about me--possibly some co-dependency, some self esteem issues, or what that says about our relationship--I don't think I'll go there. But he's a hard guy to impress partly because his mom is hard to compete with. She did everything. She sewed, cooked, cleaned, canned, read her scriptures, went to the temple, fixed her girls hair and stretched a teacher's salary across ten people.
When I try to compare myself with her, I'll always come up short. But I find my efforts are particularly unnoticed and significantly unimpressive when it comes to apricots. As long as Nate can remember there has been a large apricot tree, each year loaded with more apricots than most people can use in a season. But this family wrote the book on preserving apricots and every summer was filled with making sure that very few of these apricots were wasted. Apricot halves, apricot jam, apricot nectar--all things you'll find in quart jars filled the shelves in Nate's childhood home.
So, when I excitedly gather up some apricots from my mom's tree or a neighbor's tree and get out my canning supplies, I don't get an equally excited vibe from Nate--not even close. In fact last year he commented that he didn't even like apricots. I guess I can understand. That's a lot of apricots to consume over a lifetime.
But weather or not I get "domestic points" for canning apricot halves and jam, I'm happy to have it a part of my summer days. And I'm happy to make apricot time a part of my children's memories. I like having buckets of apricots sitting around for kids to graze on and apricot pits to crack for the tasty nuts inside. I'm happy for the canned apricots that my babies love (I don't even mind the orange poop). I'm happy for the smell of apricots and the sight of quart jars full of beautiful apricots.