Relishing the Familiar

The Yakima morning greeted us with light rain and gentle temps. We packed the car and set out looking for some canning supplies. For some reason, while driving through the countryside yesterday, we decided we should consider doing some canning again this summer. I had given all my canning equipment away when we moved to D.C. thinking I would never use it again. (At that time it had probably been about 20 years since I had used it . . . easy to think I wouldn’t use it again.) But, know it seemed like the most natural thing to do with our summer crops that are growing in our garden.

The exploration for canning supplies took us to three different establishments before we found an old-style canner like the one I had given away. I had thought a rural community would have these things; apparently they are not as easily found as I had thought.

With our new found canner and several boxes of jars, we pointed the car north and west toward home. The rain poured and made driving difficult for about an hour. Never before have we encountered rain while driving from Yakima to Snoqualmie. The hillsides that are so familiarly brown and arid were even a little green with young growth! The clouds made shapes and moved across the wide open skies dramatically. It continued to rain in the mountains (as it so often does) and we stayed alert by finishing our listening to Barack Obama’s book, which we enjoyed immensely.

A stop at North Bend allowed for a comfort stop and we went on to also stop in Issaquah where we met our son for a few minutes after his work day.

To wait out the commuter traffic at the end of the day, we found a pizza restaurant that fit the bill nicely. By this time we were quite hungry and Tutta Bella’s filled us with hot and savory flavors atop a chewy crust that could not have been more perfect.

The final miles flew away behind us and we were once again home: that comfortable and familiar place that is even now more welcoming and more comfortable for having left it for a few days and nights. What words are there to describe that feeling which allows us to relish and appreciate something more simply because we have been far from it for a time? Pick whatever name you like, but I will call it grace.