She composts. She rinses out her baggies. She saves bread crusts and feeds the ducks at the pond. She puts banana peels, coffee grounds and even dog hair in her garden. She still knows how good laundry smells when dried on a line. She, born to parents who lived through the Depression, born in a time when things were war rationed, knows how to be thrifty and economical. My mom is so green; so way way way ahead of her time. She never believed in a throw-away culture.
We should all take lessons from our elders in these times.
I tell my mom we can ebay her stuff. I tell my mom we can sort out her house -- me, the Queen of Moving, can toss, toss, toss. She cleans out a drawer or shelf or closet every day. Today it takes her 45 minutes to do one shelf in the bathroom. She sends me home with Dramamine she no longer needs for a grandchild on trips, and three jars of body cream she won't use. It is easier to put it in my bag than to argue with her about how I don't need them.
My mother, the fair lady of recycling, is recycled herself in our stories of her. I return to her a painting that has gone from my 6 or 7 homes to my daughter's and now back to her. Up it goes on her living room wall, right where it once graced the wall, 25 years or more ago. What goes around...
The forsythia would bloom outside of my grandmother's window in Oklahoma City. She would tell me that spring is here when the forsythia starts to bloom. So everywhere I've lived I've wanted forsythia planted so I would have spring markers as my grandmother outlined them for me. And, as I think back on it, I have had forsythia planted in Georgia, NY, Oklahoma and Texas.
I don't have forsythia in the zeriscape landscape in Santa Fe. Where are signs of spring? Sneezing from juniper pollen? I'm trying to intuit the season in a new place where I've not experienced it year-round. Little did I expect to have a snowfall with everything looking like January when I woke up yesterday. Two inches or more of snow! In April! Well, at least the snow might dampen the pollen. I don't see Santa Fe on the top 25 cities for bad allergies Forbes list. The worst is in the S.E. this year.
Using my grandmother's recipe, we carried on the tradition. Somewhat. I wanted everyone to put the raisins on just for eyes and buttons. But some cooks in the kitchen became creative.
This is the first time I'd tried baking at a high altitude and it took a little experimenting with ingredients and baking temperatures and times. As we worked, I passed on anecdotes and stories of the past because we had a new family member taking part in all of this. So it took some 'splainin as we were molding. Then things began to go other ways.
Altitude or too hot of an oven? Maybe the biggest takeaway from this year's activity was discovering that one gingerbread man had e.d. after getting all hot in the oven. All of the next gen had to show and tell that story.
What is it about traditions that seem to carry on but twist and take on new meanings as they go? The bonding and creation of community -- don't you know in your own traditional folkways how you use the "we" in the doing of them? What traditions bring you together most?
Now that I'm in empty nest, seeing things on the mom blog sites makes me think how networking online has socially changed us.
My new mom friends and I would, at in-person meetings, talk about our favorite baby things. If you had asked me for the one thing as a new mother that I couldn't live without, it would have been the baby sling I had. After work I would walk off my pregnancy weight and keep a fussy baby quiet. I loved having her close and I think it was a better way to mother, keeping an infant at the heart beat of mom. So I saved it to pass down. Now I come across online these darling baby slings that are so fashionable and it makes my old thing look downright uuuugggly.
Finding a babysitter? Checking out Cool Mom Picks, which one of my younger blogging friends, Nancy out of WDC supports, I found SitterCity -- A way to find babysitters in your zip code. I was surprised to find a good number of options in Santa Fe. They also have pet sitter listings, fyi. One of my nightmares as a new mom was finding a sitter when I returned to work six weeks after my oldest was born. Sourcing and networking had to be really worked hard, person-to-person.
Face-to-face time with friends or phone calling was a long and tedious way to network to find the best baby things and names of babysitters. We are changing, certainly and here is an example. New York University's Assistant Dean, David Schachter, talks about the "live networking" undertaken as part of orientation for this year's freshmen. It was called "Facebook in the Flesh" and he had to describe to students the benefits of live interaction. If you are interested you can read more about it in Michael Schulman's September Social Study article in the New Yorker.
The more things change, the more they remain the same? Maybe even that phrase needs an update.
Oh so cool? Who needs cigars to announce the new baby's arrival? Robert Scoble caught his baby's first cry and saved it as a twittergram and wrote how he did it with links.And to think I waited six weeks for engraved invitations to arrive.
My youngest daughter flipped through her grandmother's college scrapbook and the talk turned to how times have changed, from then to now. From sign-in desks for dates, from dance cards, from proper behavior, from single sex dorms, to? What?
Are colleges leaning so far from hands-on guidance and kids leaning/careening to everywhere out-of-bounds that this, this place, just isn't good for them, us or society? What is it, parents? Hmmmm. The movie, Knocked-Up. Is it a tiptoe into another space of the idea of "doing what is right" ?????
Maybe curfews are a good idea. Maybe the old days were the good old days. Maybe it is time to bounce something back. I thought so after reading about kids dying at college - the story, to me, is Bigger Than Dallas. The stories of kids driving and dying from alcohol-related accidents, of fraternity deaths -- these are what parents talk about when pulled together nationally, I've found. At least in the last ten years. The best thing my Dad got out of college was my mom, and she got a poodle from his fraternity house mom. I say that, tongue-in-cheek, but college experiences speak as much to life as academics and life preparations.
Freedom isn't always a good thing. And to think, we're spreading the idea all over the world, politically speaking.
Sex, drugs and rock and roll, peace, love and be free. What in the world is going on? Let's talk about this helicopter parenting... Who is protecting whom and what and from what and what for.
Whatever. Maybe, like fluffed and trimmed up poodles, our academic environments need a little duded-up structure in real life and while the virtual life is let loose. Is it happening, already?
What is it when dogs really are being treated more like people and kids are totally off-leash? Or are they on the tight, GPS, cell-phone attached ephemeral 24/7 umbilical cord? image credit
I'm not sure if I will cry but I'll have a lovely hand-made handkerchief in my hand today, as my daughter walks down the aisle to marry the guy she has dated for seven years. I carried my grandmother's lace handkerchief tucked away when I was married 28 years ago as my "something old". I didn't cry then at my own wedding. In fact, I gave a little cry of joy when I was pronounced a we. Finally, after four years.
Now? I don't know. Sappy, weepy, ever-romantic, emotional me. With a lovely, quite lovely, hankie in my hand.
Here comes my mother, here comes my father, here comes my brother, here come the inlaws, here comes the groom and his family, here comes everyone we are related to. The engagement was only yesterday.
The house is completely in order (why never, except when you are ready to sell it or entertain?). If LOVE was a stock, it would be going out the roof chez nous. Isn't it an option, anyway? If only it were not an intangible asset. As the markets skid down, love is in the air here. Too bad the U.S. and European banks can't use love to prop up the financial markets instead of the emergency $150 billion. Love makes the world go 'round.
Go read Miss Cellania today for her wedding themed post. Who ever knew you could order a fake cake? Less real love filling that way.
Lots of LOVE goin' around. I've been stamping it everywhere. It is even in the water. Gulp Gulp.
You know how things just clearly stick in your mind? I remember when my children were little and I felt like a broken record, repeating myself over and over. After telling a child for the umpteenth time to do something, I wondered aloud in 1990 to all of my new Houston neighbors, "Will I be saying, when she gets married, "walk down the aisle, walk down the aisle, walk. down. the. aisle."
Now I think it will be someone telling me to go walk. down. the aisle, so excited will I be to have our friends and family all here. C'mon, momsie. Get to your seat.
Forget rice and birdseed. It is sparklers for the bride and groom send-off. I made sure we stocked up. We passed a fireworks stand and lo and behold, I've now plenty!
The only thing to do now is to time the sparklers so we know how much time to give everyone to light them, how much time for the bride and groom to take coming down. Ahhh. All for the grand send-off (and photos!).