In a Jam

Yesterday, I made four batches of jam: nectarine, wild Maine blueberry, peach and peach-jalapeño. Can I even admit that I have a few more peaches left? I’ll make one last run at jam today. I actually over-jammed. I hit jamming fatigue.

I actually felt like little Caleb my adorable nephew, frustrated.

In fact, though, yesterday’s jam overwhelm mirrored the antsy preoccupied sensation that’s customary just before summer ends (for me). There’s one more stack of school forms, which arrived in the mail this week. A little over a week ago, I plowed through the preschool forms. I received a wonderful assist on the name-address-phone part by my eldest who “loves” to fill out forms. There are school supplies to purchase (a list arrived this week as well). I don’t know who’s doing what afterschool when—or when I’ll take yoga (and to be honest, this was one of yesterday’s chief preoccupations; the day before I was more focused upon high school concerns). The yoga studio’s schedule is about to shift—and not to my advantage (this summer, it shifted to my advantage, and hooked me–but it may end up shifting to my advantage, smile).

The eldest was around and about and overheard then re-heard my yoga schedule woes. He said, “Yoga is your greatest pleasure these days. Even if you have to be out a second night a week, if that’s what it takes, you have to do it.” On the one hand, he’s not four and the four year-old might not feel the exact same way. On the other hand, he got me to see that even if I have to finagle beyond what’s convenient to do this, I am not ready to walk away from something I am so deeply in pursuit of (down the rabbit hole).

To be unsettled, this is not my best thing. To be unsettled, that’s just… life.


I was so in the thick of the jam making that I neglected to photograph any jam (I will have to pull the nectarine out of the pantry, because it’s so, so, very reddish-orangey pretty). Last week, I photographed birthday label (gift from my fabulous sister-jammer mother-in-law) alongside birthday flowers, though. That jam is peach-strawberry. The flowers at the top of this post are my favorites from Old Friends Farm this week at the Tuesday Market. My photograph of the raffle display for the Food Stampsx2 fundraiser didn’t come out very well. The raffle, though, is pretty sweet.

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Author: Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser's work has appeared on the New York Times, Salon, and the Manifest Station amongst other places. Find her on Twitter @standshadows

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