Whenever Tri has to travel I often have two very dear old friends offer to stay with me here at Timber Butte in his absence.  Sharon Taylor and Lori Thompson are not only friends, but have worked with Tri for twenty-five years in the ministry.   Years ago when Tri was in junior high school a teacher told him that he would do well in life but in order to do so he’d need twice as many secretaries as the average person.  These two women have had a huge part to play in his successful life.  The best part is that they have not only been gifted workers but also wonderful faithful friends to both of us.  Through the past years we have shared buckets of tears in times of sorrow and hours of laughter in times of joy.   They are both a little crazy but have that special gift of helping people like me see the joy and humor in life.

When they come up here we generally take on some sort of a project of one kind or another. This past week while Tri was in England we decided to can sixty-five quarts of apple pie filling and applesauce.

It took awhile for us to get things rolling but after a bit of organization things got into production.  It was a time of not only savoring the sweet smell and taste of applesauce but once again a time of relishing friendship and the simple joy of hanging out together.

During our canning session my kitchen sink decided that it would be a good time to spring a major leak.  To save the floor, we ended up having to turn off the water. This made clean up a real chore considering the mess that canning always produces. It was a challenge no doubt, but somehow gave us another reason to laugh over the fact that nothing good in life ever seems to come easy.  We contemplated how our friendship through the many years has been a lot like our canning projects.  We have always celebrated together the sweet taste of our efforts and accomplishments; yet we have been there for each other during those seasons of messiness and sorrow.

There is no question that canning is a huge undertaking when you consider all of the preparation, hands on work and clean up, but in the end always brings wonderful reward.  I love it most when the hard work is over, the kitchen is clean and all of the cooling jars are set out on the counter as if on display.  There is something deeply gratifying about standing back at the end of a hard day and gazing at the results of one’s labor, especially when you have accomplished it with lifelong friends.

The sink got fixed the next day by a visit from our friend Cliff Robbins, who after coming to our rescue was rewarded with applesauce, eggs and honey – all the fresh fruits of Timber Butte homestead. The old saying about “make new friends but keep the old—one is silver and the other gold” is all too true.

That night, Sharon, Lori and I shared a victory dinner eating homemade Pumpkin Pizza and fresh apple crisp. It was time to ponder the next project for their next visit.

Here is a fun recipe for Pumpkin Pizza:

Pizza Crust

Pesto Sauce

2 Cups shredded Italian cheese

Fresh Spinach leaves or fresh basil leaves

sliced thin raw pumpkin

Sun- dried tomatoes

1 cup feta cheese*********************

Spread pesto sauce to cover all of the pizza crust

Cover with the shredded cheese

Cover with the spinach or basil leaves

Cover with the pumpkin slices

Sprinkle with the sun-dried tomatoes

Sprinkle with the feta cheese

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400 for 25 minutes.   It is yummy!   Really!!!