Tag Archives: fishing

Happy Birthday America

Sure this is a tad belated but stay with me.

I have always loved the fourth, perhaps it has something to do with my birthday being the third, but I truthfully think its a lot more than that. I would consider myself a very patriotic person for many reasons but mostly the pride I have for the United States military and for those who serve. I spent the better part of growing up living near Colorado Springs so I came to really appreciate our nation’s brave men and women who serve. Military homecomings will always bring me to tears and my heart goes out to those families with mothers, brothers, husbands, fathers, sisters, and wives who are deployed. I could never imagine how nerve racking every single moment would be until their return months later.

Sure the main purpose of the fourth of July is to commemorate our independence from Britain but I also think its about celebrating our amazing service men and women for continuing to fight for America’s freedom and safety. I think the fourth is about looking back to the beginnings of this country and seeing just how far we have come and where we can go. It’s about celebrating freedoms, the birth of this country, creativity, free speech, voting, democracy, and most importantly the people’s voice. It’s a time to remember our duties as citizens and how lucky we are to have all the freedoms we do. Even though it often doesn’t feel like it, we choose our government and our government is one for the people. Despite all the hard times and frustrations of our time, the fourth gives people continued hope, it renews patriotism, and for at least one day of the year people are proud about the country they live in.

and the fireworks just make me happy. I don’t know maybe it is the pyromaniac within me trying to escape or my constant wonder of what make them work the way they do and the chemistry behind the scenes. I guess it has something to do with the tradition behind them and how this is how people have celebrated the fourth for much of this countries history. Maybe it is also their beauty and how they light up a night time sky with so much color, so much noise, and so much joy. Maybe its the hiking to hills to watch them fly over valleys, lakes, or neighborhoods. Maybe its the memories from my childhood when this was the one night I could stay up super late just to watch explosions streak the sky. Maybe it has something to do with how the weather always seems to cooperate for fireworks. The night of the fourth is often one of the best of the summer.

I had probably one of the greatest birthdays and fourth of Julys this past weekend and I have had some pretty wonderful fourths in the past. This one was spent with so many amazing people and many many adventures. The memories will last forever.

Canning: a lost art

I spent my falls, for as long as I can remember, canning and processing the fruits and vegetables from out garden. My Dad has been canning his whole life and was taught by his parents while they were still farming. Its a lost art that not many people know about or really understand. It is so rewarding to grow and eat your own food deep into the winter and for years to come. We make countless hot sauces, relishes, can green beans, carrots and much more. The sight of the colorful jars lining the shelves continuously brings a smile to my face.

canning shelves

Weeks at the end of summer are dedicated to this wonderful “old school” task.

I think its sad that many people don’t process their own food anymore. We rely so heavily on the supermarkets that fresh home grown food is hardly seen.  I am so grateful that this tradition has been passed down to me.

My family has always strived to be as self sufficient as possible. I suppose it starts back with the farming culture that dates back generations.  My ancestors first came to Montana over a hundred years ago from Norway and we had farmed the same land up until a few years ago when the farm was sold to a Hutterite Colony.

Our tradition of growing, preserving, and processing our own food has long continued. From the raspberry patch in our backyard my Mom and I make the most delicious jam and therefore can’t eat store bought jam anymore because it doesn’t stand up.  We also buy a pig from a friend of ours who raises them as a 4H project. We process all the meat ourselves (minus the hams and bacon which is processed at a local place) and make sausage and other fun things. My Dad also occasionally goes to Queen Charlotte British Columbia to fish for king salmon, which we then process and sometimes smoke ourselves. This meat tastes so much better than anything store bought and it is really satisfying to know where it came from. Its also cheaper per pound than store bought.

Hunting is also a large tradition in my family and my Brother and Dad go out each year.  What they get provides for most of our hamburger throughout the year.

My Dad also likes to grow his own hopps and brew his own beer. It is a fun experience to learn the whole process and be a part of something like that. Appreciate the Homebrew.

All of this gives fall a warm and fuzzy feeling and I am excited to pass these traditions onto my future family. I think its important to appreciate home made and home grown and also to support the local markets and local bushiness.

Its all a lost art and it saddens me that this culture may one day disappear.