:Another ghost…Posted: November 14, 2008
My grandmother seems to be right at my side the past few months. She’s been dead for years, but she’s here. The old cliche “I’ve become my mother” has changed for me. I’ve become my grandmother. She was a young bride in the Great Depression. Her skills as a homemaker developed long before TV dinners. My grandparents kept a vegetable garden, maintained an apple orchard. Grandma was the ultimate recycler, not because she wanted to save the earth, but because she saw the fundamental value in items tossed these days without a second thought.
This summer after reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle Rick and I began a mission to eat local food. It was a little late in the season, but we bought a bit from the Farmer’s Market. Rick now asks about the produce in the grocery store. Where is it grown? We bought a chest freezer. We purchased a Food Saver and began freezing locally grown, fresh vegetables. I picked wild raspberries on our property. I started research on growing vegetables way up here…both Carol and Fred grew tomatoes this yeaar. I have a tentative design for a couple of raised beds artfully placed within the housedog yard.
This was all before the economy tanked. Thanks to podcasts, I’ve learned more than I ever wanted to know about global economics, credit default swaps et. al. One economist summed up in simple terms, “the world has too much debt.” I could go on, but I won’t. This blog entry isn’t about the sorry state of monetary affairs, it’s about my ghost. My welcome ghost.
My grandmother saved everything, all neatly organized, stored for daily use. Rubber bands. Bread bags. Paper bags. She made quilts. She bought adult coats at the Methodist Church’s annual rummage sale. She took those coats apart and redesigned them into winter coats for me and my sisters. She crocheted pretty things. She embroidered pillow cases. She blanket-stitched the edges of sheets, towels, washclothes. And, of course, she prepared food grown in her garden, scrambled eggs laid by their chickens. She taught me how to sew, embroider, crochet. She taught my sister Lori how to cook.
These past weeks I’ve begun saving all plastic bags, all rubber bands, all paper sacks…just in case, her ghost tells me. Last Friday I shopped at Goodwill, purchasing six cotton shirts for everyday wear, along with a royal blue dress jacket, trimmed with black piping of sorts, to add to my dog show clothes. My sewing machine has been out for months, sitting on a desk made by some relative of grandma. Rather than ordering new smocks for work, this weekend I’m digging out my smocks in need of repair. I’ve been drinking beer instead of wine. Not a tip from grandma! She was a tea-totaler!
Am I nuts? Given the state of affairs, have the rest of you made any adjustments in lifestyle?