Hello to All
I wanted to throw in a short post to say Happy Mother’s Day to all of the wonderful mothers out there! I am blessed to have a wonderful mother, as well as a special mother-in-law, and I have learned an amazing number of things from both of them, many of which influenced my being “green.”
My mother’s parents came through the Depression. They lived simply and made or grew most everything they needed themselves. They were also upcyclers and recyclers before those were common words. Mom knew how to sew and knit, and could cook or bake
anything you asked for (including birthday cakes better than any bakery cake I’ve ever had). She knew how to preserve food from the garden or the orchard, and taught me how to do it as well – although I will freely admit I was a less than willing student all those years ago (a fact for which I have apologized many times!). Mom taught me to be “green” before it was cool, and tried to instill in me how to make it do or do without. Although I have not followed this as strictly as I should have over the years (because I know I would be in MUCH better shape now if I had), it has helped me get my family through some tough times, and I have been grateful many times over for the knowledge she imparted to me.
My mother-in-law also had parents who came through the Depression. She has always had the ability to do many things, but I would say the biggest impression she has made on me during my marriage is how to be creative in making do or doing without. Only leftovers for supper? That’s fine – take them out and whip up a new meal that you name and convince your kids it is the latest, greatest food! Holes in your favorite pair of pants? Here, let me show you how to design your own patches so you can make them look brand new AND unique. Need to redecorate with no money? That’s no problem – we will use what you already have! No matter what the problem, my mother-in-law could help devise a solution. Admittedly, as a young bride this was quite intimidating – I was never sure I would be able to measure up. Thankfully, in learning what a special person she is, I also learned to appreciate and glean as much knowledge as I can from her so I can pass it own to my children and it can be carried on for future generations.
Something I have learned as both my mom and my mother-in-law are getting older is that “stuff” means less to them than time does. When I asked my mom this week “What do you want for Mother’s Day this year?” her answer was simple. “Come spend time with me. I never get to just sit and talk with you, so come see me.” My mother-in-law responded in almost the same manner. She said all she wanted was to be invited to supper at our house and to sit and talk without being rushed.
Having two such similar answers within a short time frame made me think. Wouldn’t we all be better off if we were to consider time more important than things? I know, in my case, if I were to consider my time more important than things I could buy, my house would be cleaner and less cluttered, I would have more time to spend with those I loved, and I would have to worry less about cleaning up or decluttering the STUFF.
This Mother’s Day, when my own children asked what I wanted, I asked for time. Go out with me, fix something around the house, clean a room, do laundry for a day – all things that will make me very happy but not leave more clutter around the house. And, in this small way, it will help me live in a “greener way.” 🙂
I hope all of you have a wonderful Mother’s Day and that you are able to spend it with your moms, grandmas, children or whoever makes you happy!