Today I’m participating in a blogging event with retailer Harry and David in my hometown of Medford, Oregon, and I’m also going to talk about peaches.

I grew up with Harry and David. Well, not really Harry or David, but with their produce, orchards, the very essence of all their goodness, it’s all been a part of my life for almost 50 years.

A few weeks ago my friend Kristin and I canned peaches together.

The peaches were Harry and David’s Suncrest brand, grown in our local orchards.

This post has more sentimental value to me than peaches, the canning process, Harry and David.

When Kristin told me we were going to go down the street from her home and use her mom’s kitchen, I had no idea the nostalgic feelings that would rise up in my heart and mind. It brought back memories of my Mom, wishing she could be here canning peaches alongside Kristin and me.

My Mom loved my friends. She would have been there in a heartbeat.

Her hands were always busy and her heart was so full of love for other people.

The day went long. We put the peaches into hot boiling water (we used a slow cooker, do you?), and then right into the cold, pulling off the skins, slicing and layering in the jars.

Stunningly beautiful.

There is nothing like a beautiful jar full of peach freshness.

I brought along all of my canning supplies and was thrilled to be using a Thermador range, a complete surprise (it was like driving a Mercedes!)

We were on our feet for hours (we canned 4 lugs of pears) but one thing I noticed was that, more than talking about other people, we talked about our families … our kids, parents, spouses, and our mothers.

We even went outside to look at her mother’s beautiful assortment of dahlias.

Kristin doesn’t know this, but this day was very special to me.

Canning peaches with a friend is a story of how fresh produce, straight from the orchards, and using our hands for the benefit of our families, can come together into an ordinary canning jar to create beauty and nourishment for our bodies.

Warmer connections come when we nurture the friendships that we have in our lives.

New friendships are essential, but sometimes taking the ones we’ve had for years and trying something new (like canning together)–you’ll create a memory that you’ll cherish for years to come.

When’s the last time you tried something new with an old friend?

(This post was not sponsored by H&D. We bought our own peaches for the canning process. Canning is just what we do here in the Rogue Valley.) :)