Something went wrong after I planted my coveted Kentucky Wonder green bean seeds. They sprouted but didn’t reach for the sun with their usual zest for life. Then the leaves turned yellow due to what I suspect might be my husband’s zealous watering.

For, from what I’ve read, tender bean roots prefer less water than more. This makes sense because my mother and uncles never watered their Kentucky Wonders, Greasy, or Turkey Craw green bean plants.

My, we’d sit and string beans together for hours. A summer ritual.

Now, after the rainfall the past several days, only a handful of bean plants sent up puny vines above the weeds and twine on the fence. There will be no stringing beans this summer. As my Granny would say, “Huney, I’m heart sick.”

And if that’s not enough regret, some critter found a hole in the overgrown perimeter of our garden fence and ate my cabbages down to the stem. Oh, and the varmint also ate my broccoli.

Last of my vegetable garden sorrows, my beloved sunflowers flopped. Perhaps the same critter who loves cabbage consumed my four sunflower seedlings. After hours of preparing a bed for seventeen foot sunflowers, I could cry.

If it weren’t for the cabana peppers and tomatoes. This morning after hen chores, I picked one plain yellow and a purple variegated pepper. They’re not growing crazy like the tomatoes, yet I’m thankful nonetheless.

Half the variegated pepper and a bit of onion sliced and sautéed in olive oil with chopped leftover chicken breast with a side of cantaloupe makes a perfect lunch. I’m munching while I write.

Afterward, I’ll sterilize canning jars, lids, and rings for my first batch ever of sour cherry and red currant jam. Since I found a recipe on the internet, I can’t be the only woman in the world who’s considered the combination. Furthermore, my mother taught me to use what I have.

Years ago, I planted the cherry tree close by a red and a black currant bush in our backyard. They’ve all flourished, bathed in the rising sun every morning. Each summer since, the black and red currant shrubs bear abundant fruit. Contrariwise, the cherry tree’s fickle. She hadn’t set fruit in years.

Without one thought of the cherry tree this summer, or lifting one finger for her yield when she blossomed from crown to lowest branch, I picked eight cups of her sour cherries this week. I trust the monotonous pitting will be worth spreading a delicious jam on my scones, toast, and meat.

I’d like to know what went right this season with my cherry tree so I might repeat it. Chances are the cause or causes are entirely out of my control like they are with my Kentucky Wonders.

Dear Reader, the harvest of my little sour cherry tree makes my heart glad.

Enough to stand by the stove and “boil hard until the mixture reaches the gel stage, about 20 minutes.” I can hear the lids pop!

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