Sweet Jam

copy-of-working-template-for-ff-challenges.pngDue to too much fun with friends and family I am very late, maybe too late in responding to
the August 15, 2019, Carrot Ranch prompt: In 99
words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a sweet jam. It can take you to the kitchen or the smokey room of a back-alley bar. What makes it sweet? Go where the prompt leads you! 

This double 99 is from an as yet unwritten road trip episode where Marge helps Ilene sort through her dead mother’s house. See the complete set of incomplete and likely out of sequence vignettes of Marge, Ernest, et al on their page HERE. Yep, it’s a work in progress.


“Pull in this driveway here, Marge, this is the place.”

Marge and Ilene climbed stiffly from the truck and stretched, taking in the weather worn clapboard house. Two gangly apple trees stood guard in the unmown lawn. Ilene investigated the blackberry bushes that grew where the unkempt meadow met the woods.

“Marge! They’re ripe!” She made her way back to Marge and faced her mother’s house.

“Well, Marge, I’m supposed to get what I want from the place before leaving matters to the lawyers and realtors. And what I want is to make blackberry jam like my mother did.”


Marge and Ilene, scratched from the blackberry brambles, fingers stained purple, now stood over large pots of steaming, bubbling blackberry ooze.

“I don’t know, Ilene, I haven’t done this since my father died. He and I always made jam together.”

“We’ve got this, Marge.” She stirred, carefully eyed the drip from the wooden spoon. “I always enjoyed helping my mom with jamming but knew it meant the beginning of school. Used to feel like we were putting summer in a jar, to be savored later.”

“She’d be proud you’re back in school Ilene.”

Ilene blinked. “It’s ready Marge. Pour.”

19 thoughts on “Sweet Jam

  1. I like the discussion and sharing between these two. They are becoming firm friends – so much to share. The reflection on school beginning and putting summer in a jar to be savoured later appeals to me. I hadn’t thought of it quite that way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for that. Ilene’s boyfriend is into Japanese poetry so he will write the haiku when these two return from their trip. (They made the jam in Ilene’s mother’s house) Oh, he wrote it already:

      Sun filled gatherings
      Sweet expansiveness reduced
      Summer in a jar

      Looks like I need to get going and write the rest of the story then.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Keepsake | ShiftnShake

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