Monday, May 23, 2011

Running With Scissors... by Barbara (Ruth)

I actually don’t run with scissors. That’s just stupid. But I have, on occasion, stood in front of the refrigerator door, wide open, just staring and wondering what to eat. To my knowledge, I did NOT refrigerate the entire neighbourhood.

Have you ever found yourself doing things that you would NEVER have done as a kid? I don't mean bungee jumping or climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro... I mean little stuff that would most certainly have garnered (GW) a correction from one or more of your parents. But now that you're a grownup... you're in charge! (As long as no one is looking.)

This post is dedicated to those things, mostly domestic in nature, that I do as an adult which still, at the age of 46, make me feel like a rebellious child because they go against my upbringing. These things include (in addition to the refrigerator door activity mentioned above):

  1. Drinking straight from the milk/orange juice/sodapop container. I know! Gross, right? But sometimes I just want a little, and I live alone, so really… who cares!?
  2. Leaving the house without making my bed. I read somewhere that’s healthy, actually, but I just feel like a slob when I do it.
  3. Putting pots, wooden spoons, and plastic containers in the dishwasher. When I grew up, only the regular cutlery, dishes, and glasses or mugs went in. Everything else you did by hand. Now I say – pfft! They all go in, and I’ll buy new stuff if they get wrecked. (So far nothing has met its doom by being incorrectly washed.)
  4. Putting away clean sheets and tea towels without ironing them. I used to for a while, but I’ve become substantially lazier. I will admit, however, to ironing the top edges of sheets if guests are coming, so I can fold them down and make everything look “just so”.
  5. Using a cleaning service. My parents never had that luxury, but I suppose they did have four kids who could get a lot done in a Saturday morning cleaning session. My mum thinks it’s awesome that I have a cleaning service now – she taught me that there are far more important and time-worthy things to do these days. One of her favourite expressions is “let the dust bunnies roll”!
  6. Throwing out food I don’t like. You have to remember that my parents grew up in the Depression. Socks were darned, brown paper was folded and reused, and food Was. Not. Wasted.
  7. Planting tall grasses in my garden. Oh I can hear my mum – “grasses belong in the prairies!” Two years ago I planted three bunches and felt quite reckless doing so! I planted petunias close by (her favourites) to compensate. And I hate petunias.
  8. Eating raw cooking dough. Actually, I did do that when I was a kid, but only when licking beaters. Now I actually buy that cookie dough in a tube from the refrigerator section, and eat it with a spoon. Oh yeah. It rocks after a bad day.
 To add a little balance, I should really include a few things that I still do in accordance with  my upbringing. And I don’t mean traditional things, like which recipes I use at certain times of the year. I mean habitual, domestic things, like:

  1. Using the exact same heavy cast iron pot and wooden spoon to make porridge that my Dad used, every single winter morning. (This pot is also the only proper pot for making molasses sugar cookies, which will be the topic of a future post.)
  2. Folding hand towels and face cloths in thirds, and hanging them with the folded side out (therefore looking nicer than if the edges were facing out).
  3. Hanging out laundry with all "like" things grouped together. (All the washcloths together, socks together, shirts together, etc.) This is something my maternal grandmother was really picky about I guess - a story my mum shared with me many a time when we hung out the laundry together.
  4. Putting fresh sheets on the bed with “hospital corners”. Sometimes the cleaning lady puts on the sheets without the proper corners, and I have to re-do it. Is that a sign of OCD? Don’t answer that.
  5. Tapping the barometer (yes, I have a barometer) every morning to see which way the pressure is going. I don’t actually DO anything with this information, but my Dad did it every day, and therefore so do I.
  6. Choosing plants like astilbe, spirea, sorbaria, hydrangea, and sedum for my garden. Most of them actually came from my mum’s garden, actually. I love my garden, but it's pretty darn similar to my mum's garden... and my sister's garden...
  7. Eating maple syrup. Plain. By itself. In a spoon (or straight from the jar). This is something that my Dad taught me, actually. Every night that we had pancakes or grapefruit (both of which call for maple syrup), Dad and I made a show of tasting the maple syrup as if we were connaisseurs. The best was from New Brunswick.
  8. Saying my prayers. Still do it. Every night. It works.
My Dad tells a story of visiting his mother shortly before she died. She looked at him and said, "David, you need a haircut." Dad laughed and said, "Mother, I'm 55 years old!" Her reply? "Never mind, you'll always be my little boy."

It doesn't matter how old I get. These little things I do (and don't do) will always make me feel like a kid inside. And that's where it counts!

1 comment:

  1. What a sweet post! I remember you and I discussing eating maple syrup off a spoon. You don't need much, but it packs a huge sugar punch.

    Sometimes I hear my mother's words coming out of my mouth when I talk to the girls. It doesn't make me cringe, but it does make me laugh! And sometime around my first pregnancy, I went from thinking crossed eyes were amusing and benign, to thinking they might freeze that way. I can't stand it when my family does that!