The Sugar Shack.

  • Drinking: An odd concoction of coffee & cream — made from skim milk & whipped topping. It’s the end of the semester & everything is running out.
  • Listening to: Sara Beth Geoghegan.
  • Wearing: My new rose-colored cords with ivorys, browns & golds. My go-to color palette of the moment.

Hello, cheri, & a merry December to you all! Boy, has winter snuck up on me this year. One week I’m home & basking in the mid-70-degree sun, & the next I’m back in Tennessee & the world, it seems, is sparkling with frost.

But before we get too far into December, let me finish telling you about November.

Normal Americans may spend Thanksgiving weekend at home, eating unorthodox amounts of holiday leftovers & in turkey comas in front of the game, but not us. We were out with the morning, making preparations for what has been coined the Annual Sugar Cane Grinding & Syrup Cooking (Generic title, I know. Personally, I referred to it as the Sugar Cane Festival all day, but I’m not so sure a gathering of extended family & my granddad’s church-goers can qualify as a festival. Still, I’ll be thinking of a catchier name — like the Sugar Squeeze! Ooh la la! THAT, I think, will get the crowds a-coming).

From what I could gather, (because when I say we went out with the morning, I of course mean everyone but myself. I rolled in just in time to miss the entire first segment, exhausted from a long afternoon of fighting the good fight the day before — AKA Black Friday shopping.) the men went at the cane stalk, machetes in hand, & harvested it. They then hauled it over to the grinder (traditionally mule-drawn but since there were no mules to be found, we defaulted to a riding lawn mower adorned with a cardboard cutout of Eeyore — good thinking, Grandma!). The grinding produces the juice — 70 gallons of the stuff — which is then cooked down to seven. That’s when I arrived at the sugar shack.

So, what was I thankful for this Thanksgiving? A family with quirks. I very much prefer it that way.


{the harvest}

{the cooking}