Every summer Mom’s sisters made at least one visit to the farm. Mom would make a big dinner (not lunch, lunch was served between dinner and supper). Usually it was roast beef, boiled or mashed potatoes, whatever fresh vegetables were in season, pickles, homemade bread and pie for dessert. If they timed their visit right, they not only feasted on fresh green beans, corn on the cob, coleslaw, creamy cucumbers and thick slices of fresh tomatoes, but also went home with a trunk full of produce. My aunts were delightfully funny, interesting accomplished story-tellers. I was fascinated with these women who bore traces of Mom in their eyes, voices and gestures.
Mom and I were finishing up the last of the dinner dishes and her sisters had trooped off to "settle their dinner" and inspect the gardens. Yes, gardens plural.
They were hardly even all in the door when we heard Aunt Lucille exclaim, “Wiiillllmmaaa—did you know you have 47 heads of cabbage in the garden?”
“Yeah,” Mom replied, “there were more but the cutworms got them.”
“What are you going to do with all that cabbage?” Aunt Stena asked sternly.
“I guess I’ll have to make a little kraut.”