Playdates with God: How to Save [Savor] Summer Memories




The soil keeps giving back and tomatoes flood every counter of my kitchen. Each morning, when I walk Bonnie around the house, we visit the garden. My shirt becomes a basket—I hold up the hem, filled to the brim with romas, with one hand and maneuver the leash with the other.

Life doesn’t stop to wait for the harvest, not in this suburban household. So I must figure out ways to preserve and can in between all the busy-ness of getting ready for a new school year, sending Teddy off to college, extra hours at work, and fading daylight.

Summer is singing its last songs. In the evenings, when Jeff and I do our porch sit, the fireflies dwindle in number. Last night, as we sat in the fading light, hundreds of Starlings flocked to a nearby Poplar tree. When they flew overhead, I heard the sound of the wind rushing under their wings, and I forgave them for robbing my feeders on so many days.

Yesterday, as I stood at the sink washing tomatoes, I thought about my grandmother again. Did she ever wish she only had herself to worry about? Did thoughts of her nine children weigh heavy each moment? I weigh worry against love right there at my kitchen sink and love wins every time. How empty life would be if I only had myself to think of.

We must not wish these moments away. So I roast tomatoes, peel garlic, sauté the onions and put it all together. Then I can all that goodness and put it away to be enjoyed in the cold months.

A memory of summer.

Every Monday I share one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find God and know joy. Click on the button below to add your link. I try to visit a few of your stories every week, so if you are a new visitor, be sure to let me know in the comments so I can welcome you. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us.

Laura Boggess


  1. says

    I have great memories of garden jewels. My dad was a country boy living a city life and we had a garden that seemed like a farm smack dab in the “big” city. Oh my word, what I would give for the corn, tomatoes, zucchini, beans that was born from that soil. While my taste buds dream of dancing once again, my heart is already there in the sweet thoughts of Dad in his overalls and straw hat or mom canning away for the days to come. Thank you for helping me remember.

  2. says

    Such an important reminder to not wish our moments away. Sometimes we’re so eager to get to the next thing that we lose the “this” thing. And this thing is all we ever have. Thanks for sharing, Laura. Keeping you in my prayers as you prepare to launch Teddy into a new world.

  3. says

    And you look after so many others besides your brood at home, Laura! Thanks for the lovely reminder of the simple things in life, my friend!

  4. Lynn D. Morrissey says

    Beautiful on memory, Laura. And I had two grandmothers, and a great, whom I adored and miss to this day. But I have my memories. Your preserving reminds me of a favorite summer poem of mine, “Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle Received from a Friend Called Felicity.” Do you know it? Enjoy and savor his words, as I always do your!

  5. says

    Roasted tomato sauce–the best! These lovely, simple memories of birds and fireflies and warm, garden tomatoes will draw Teddy back home again. And then you can serve a meal with a sauce that sings of summer.

  6. Donna C says

    Yum! I am looking at fresh snow on the hills today, thinking mournful thoughts of spring that must be coming sometime, surely?! The garlic shoots are up in my garden, but it’s still far too cold to plant anything else yet. Looking forward to days of tomato harvesting to come in (hopefully!) 6 months time!

  7. says

    The roasted tomatoes sound and look amazing, and I have been feeling a bit of this same wistfulness about summer myself. Always change, always. One thing leading to the next, and sometimes I just want to stop and savor. Instead, I savor on the go. I’m not sure that’s bad, but sometimes it leaves me a little discontent.

    As always, your words here are beautiful.

  8. Teresa says

    I remember my Nana making biscuits from scratch. After she rolled out the dough and cut the round biscuits, the leftover dough was rolled out and cut with cookie cutters- just for me and my sister. Fresh out of the oven, smothered with melted butter, they were delicious. While I have never learned to can, my best times are when I can cook for my family- now just me and my husband.
    This evening as I was helping my husband water our backyard grass, I watched in fascination as 5-6 white-tipped wing dragonflies danced around our back yard. This is the first year I’ve seen dragonflies of this type

  9. says

    I love the smell of roasted tomatoes in my kitchen. It permeates every corner with the rich aroma and I just sniff and sigh. I learned the art of roasting tomatoes a few harvest seasons ago and have been so thankful during the winter cold moments to have that smell wafting in my kitchen reminding me of those summer memories. 🙂 My tomatoes are just starting to turn so I have only been enjoying a few delicious treats of fresh veggies. I am loving this year in my garden and the steady turn of the days with the work. I think of my grandmother and her days, too, missing her hands working with mine and wondering how she got it all done. Thanks for the stroll down memory lane!

  10. says

    Hi Laura,
    Those tomatoes look delicious! I remember my mom doing the same thing in the Minnesota countryside where I grew up! I love those memories. My adult life has been in the city desert scape of Arizona which isn’t exactly conducive to gardening. It is do-able, but not like Minnesota! I haven’t yet found that passion! So …. any chance you want to come to AZ to can for me? 😉
    Blessings and smiles,

  11. says

    I love tomatoes, be it fresh or sun dried. I used to munch fresh tomatoes after school for snacks! Not the usual snack idea of kids but I loved it.
    This post is actually mouthwatering for me. 😛

  12. says

    On our road trip to CA for my mom’s funeral, I found out there’s a Hurricane in Utah, too. Thought of you then, and again on the way back.

    “Did she ever wish she only had herself to worry about?” I was thinking that in a grieving time, there’s still stuff to do, which I sometimes think leaves insufficient space to grieve. But then Jean told me that in these times, duties and responsibilities are actually a gift. And, with my tendency to wallow, I can see why.

    Wow, I want one of your cans of savory, roasted memories. They look fabulous. xoxo


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