Saturday, August 25, 2012

Unless....

Yesterday found me to be more inspired than I have been in a long time. I am always on the lookout for inspiration. Sometimes, it completely eludes me, sometimes it overwhelms me.

Of course I am inspired daily by my children, but the world usually leaves me feeling down right sick in the stomach. So when I find inspiration in the world, I run with it!

Yesterday began with a simple facebook post. A post in which I declared my position on a certain "hot topic" in the world. I have recently decided to not just be a talker in this life. I want to back up my words with actions. So I took to good old fashioned pen and paper and wrote a short, yet direct letter to my local governement on this issue.

I am positive that whomever it reaches, it will fall on deaf ears and a closed door. Why do I say this? Because I have no faith in politicians. None of them. I do however have faith in the power of consistency. If they reject my ideas I will simply resend my letter. Over and over and over.

I do not feel pride in this letter, I just feel like I finally got off my booty and made a start. Even though nothing was accomplished, it is a start.

Later in the evening it was family movie night. We watched The Lorax. From beginning to end, there is inspiration and lessons. Such as don't be fake. Don't desire fake things. Love REAL things.

The word "Unless" is my  new motto in life. For example, I can't stand it when people say "Well that particular criminal or crime will never change, even if we change the laws" To that I say REALLY?! So just give up, don't even try? No, to that I will say what Dr. Seuss wants me to say which is:
 "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

Which leads me to my biggest inspiration of the day....After my family all went to bed, I finally got to watch The Help.

Now most of you know my feelings toward history, the past, etc. You know that I don't live there. I live here and I learn from there. I bring forth the good things in the past and make sure I do not relive the bad things.

But this movie blew the roof off of what so many people actually love about the past. The white women.

People want to look like the 50's housewife. They want to dress like them, be thin like them, decorate their homes like them. But when you think how oppressive so many of these women were to other women, it is beyond words. Not all were this way, of course. But many were, and partly because they too, were very oppressed. A vicious cycle that needed to be broken.

So when I think of the brave ones who stood up in The Lorax and The Help, THOSE are the people I want to look like, want to be like, want to act like. Not the perfect looking people. No thank you!

I want to be  brave enough to truly stand up in the face of wrong even when the whole world is telling me to sit down.

Yesterday, oh sweet yesterday, thank you for your wisdom!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Honey, please DON'T fix my dishwasher.

My dishwasher broke down 2 days ago. I thought, oh boy...dishpan hands ahead. So for the past few days, yes, I have dishpan hands. But something surprising is happening. I am finding myself smiling while washing these dishes. I am taking this time to reflect on wonderful memories without even realizing I'm doing it!

When I'm standing there at the sink, gazing out my sunny windows I am thinking of my Grandmothers and loving every minute of it. I am doing a household duty the way they did it.

Although I usually have a working dishwasher, I still have liquid dish soap on hand for quick clean ups. Of course I stick to the ones my Grandmothers used. The classics.

My maternal Grandma used Palmolive, the beautiful emerald green color. My paternal Grandma used Dawn in ocean blue.

When I use my Palmolive, it transports me directly to my Grandma's kitchen when I was a little girl. She was at that sink more than 3 times per day, cleaning up after all of us. Never once complaining. She had a small, square kitchen in brown and beige. She made wonderful meals for us and for many years I spent 2 weeks of every summer at their lake house. The memories are making me well up with tears this very moment!

My paternal Grandmother was also very  traditional. She was so in style, a magnificent creature she was! She had an eat-in kitchen in the shape of a rectangle. Bright and colorful. Soft blue and white are how I remember her kitchen with one  door leading to the brilliant back  yard,  and one door leading to the basement where she did all her laundry. I remember she had a sponge cleaner to wash dishes. I loved that thing! It was a foamy type thing in the shape of an everlasting gobstopper, right out of Wonka land! It was bright yellow and  on a magic wand! That is how I thought of it anyhow.

 I wish I could stand next to my Grandmothers right now while they were washing dishes. I would watch them. I would admire them. I would ask them all about their lives.

My Grandmas were very different in many ways. But other ways, so very much alike. They were both excellent homemakers. And they were both desperately devoted to their husbands.

In closing, I'll just say, I don't think I'm going to be bugging my husband for a dishwasher any time soon. I am going to take this broken dishwasher and learn from it. I am going to enjoy my time at the sink, gazing out the windows, cherishing my memories. Honoring the women of the past who worked so hard as homemakers. Harder than I have ever had to.

To my Grandmothers: You are my idols, my teachers, my heroes. I miss you both every day and I treasure my memories of you.