A short story by Mulch Boy.
Why had I been afraid of this, she asked herself. Canning was not the nightmare she had made it out to be in her head at all.
Oh, it was messy, and tedious, and she had to keep the dogs out of the kitchen while she worked. Didn’t want them to get a taste for human food. Once they got a real taste for it, she knew, they might never go back to regular dog food.
She looked out the kitchen window, and smiled as she watched the dogs romp and play, taking turns chasing each other around the yard, racing around the cherry trees, the dogwoods and the rhododendrons. She decided she’d have to prune the cherries. They were getting a little tall, and she wouldn’t be able to reach the top branches much longer. After a few moments she went back to cleaning up the red splatters on the wall, and the dark pools on the counter, humming contentedly to herself as she did so.
For months she had had the equipment, but left it gathering dust in the basement. But now there were 48 full mason jars, like the ones her father used to drink his beer from, saying it always tasted better from a jar. Filling them had been tiring work, but very satisfying indeed.
She supposed she owed it to her husband. For months he had been occasionally pestering her about the jars and the giant pot. He wouldn’t be pestering her any more. Not about that. Not about anything. They’d always had a joke between them that whenever one of them (mostly him) got upset over some little thing that wasn’t working out, they should “just walk away.”
She never imagined he would consider their marriage some little thing that just wasn’t working out though, until he’d told her he was leaving. There was a dancing girl or something in Vegas he was going to go move in with, he’d said. She’d find the girl’s address eventually and send her a few jars. Just thinking about it made her smile again as she picked up the hammer from the sink and began to clean it.