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  • Writer's pictureFrank Finamore

From Frank ... Sep 3

Every year for the past decade or so, September has always been the time that I can Roma tomatoes. For an Italian, there’s no better way to create a marinara sauce, but it’s a labor of love. Fifty pounds of tomatoes and three hours of work yields but fourteen quarts. It would certainly be easier and likely cheaper to buy the San Marzano tomatoes, but the act of canning is another way that I feel closer to my grandparents who had a separate “canning kitchen” in their basement where they put up tomatoes, pickles, beets, and butter beans.

This year I’ve had the pleasure of canning my extra spicy dill pickles and Roma tomatoes with three of my sisters. They have been visiting at different points to help care for our mother as she recovers. As my mother always said, “Many hands make light work” so I relished their offer to help with the canning and caring for our mother! In fact, the experience of canning this year, with their help, felt less onerous and more rewarding because of the time spent with my sisters. I was reminded of how so many chores as a child were so much better because of my sisters’ presence there with me.

Perhaps that’s one of the many reasons that I love the Village concept. It’s largely about people coming together to support one another and create something that benefits the individual and collective. I think of the hard work that some of our committees undertake, and the tenet of many hands make light work certainly applies. The camaraderie among the group members is also a gift. I have several of people on speed dial as a result of working with them that I call just to share a laugh just as much as I call to talk about committee business.

So I hope you’ll seriously consider the call to join a committee. We need assistance on each (membership, volunteer, and communications & outreach) and although it may not be as immediately rewarding as some of our direct service work, like canning, you’ll eventually savor the product and the experience.

Finally, to everyone celebrating Rosh Hashanah next week, Shanah tovah um’tukah, meaning may you have a good and sweet new year.


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