Anybody who knows me, knows that I care deeply about my house, home & role as Mother/Warrior/Goddess.Or as my daughter Lulu so delicately puts it — “You’re totally OCD, Mom.”
Which means that the last year when I was blogging 24/7 (and that is not a metaphor) there were a lot of projects around the house that were subject to (as my husband, the college president, delicately puts it) “deferred maintenance.”
Well, it’s 2011. The blog party is over. And so are all the deferred maintenance projects: crappy lawn, dead flowers, broken jewelry, unrepaired cars, semi-forgotten children, neglected friends, and just a whole bunch of shiny happy things that I didn’t pay nearly enough attention to while I was writing.
So now, after doing a whole bunch of writing work, I’m all over my To Do list .. but not today, because I’ll be going to Montgomery, Alabama on a bus to work at the Food Bank, sorting food for the victims of the big tornadoes that ripped through there last week and created total mayhem. But then another big twister wreaked havoc on Joplin, Missouri a few days ago — making Alabama seem like old news.
I don’t know what is happening with the weather, but it seems that all we can do is figure out what is needed, pull together, and do what we can (if you’re close), or send what we can (if you’re far away).
Despite all the desperation and daunting news, I find something beautiful in the idea of maintenance .. the steady, careful attending to what is necessary and essential. It’s where I want to put my energy, whether it’s in my back yard, a state away, or continent away.
It’s my next best hope for the future. You do what you can do … and you hope for the best.
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Oh! That doesn’t sound good! Let me see what wordpress has to say about that!Thanks for the heads-up (and for reading!)
Inspiring, Betty, not just sayin’ that. I just need to force myself to work in our overwhelming yard more… But I shall remember that my mess is from my own neglect, those folks in AL and MO got slammed by nature.
Betty! I totally agree with you re: doing simple things to somehow stabilize the day, the news, the world. For me, I bake bread; I plant seeds. It’s somehow just as simple as that.
Gardening and finishing the to do list are cheap therapy. See the results and bask in the joy.
Betty– your post reminded me of Marge Piercy poem, “To Be of Use”. A favorite. Do you know it? If not, here’s a link to the poem http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/to-be-of-use/. Take it with you to alabama-it particularly resonates when in the midst of hard, necessary work.
I love this poem … and I hope other people will click on it, too!! Thanks for sharing ….
Another wonderful post – nice to hear from you- and love the perspective you bring – as usual.
Anything any of us further afield can do for the tornado victims? Red Cross??
Hi Susan! I think the agencies doing the most work on the ground are Red Cross and Salvation Army … but we spent the day at the Montgomery Food Bank and they are doing great work too!
First of all, we’ve missed you my friend! However, you have let your heart lead you to catch up and spend time on the things that really matter – children, disaster relief, and classic cars. 🙂
I too am playing catchup around my place since graduating a few weeks back. Let me say, I had 2 really huge ficus trees. However, thanks to my neglect only 1 remains. Also, the 4 children that call me “mom” well, that remained unharmed – I’m still MOM more than I’d like to admit.
Please continue to lead us in your passage to save the WORLD……
Congratulations on your graduation — you looked beautiful and it is such a huge achievement… particularly with FOUR kids!!!
You’re an inspiration to ME, Debbie!
I think that all the news is overwhelming ,and we can begin to feel inept or inadequate, we fumble and end up not doing much whether it’s the house work or helping others deal with disasters. I like that you just take a project, see it through and go to the next, doing what you can and not obsessing overly much about what is still to be done. Good encouragement 🙂
Very surprised your house is white! Must be a foil for what I assume is an extremely colorful interior…as the car must be for the colorful driver! Nice juxtaposition of your stunning house and car and the ones that were ripped to shreds.
Amen to all of that!
And your home is truly gorgeous.
I’m in appreciating mode too, as husband is about to retire, son goes to college in 2 years, and there is no way we can afford to stay here, in this big house backed up to the woods. So for me, maintenance is bittersweet. Trying not to think that I’m painting it for someone else to enjoy!
Wonderful to read you again. You always have something to say worth reading.
Thanks, Meg — Hope you can enjoy your house for the remaining years. I hate change and have always grieved at leaving my house behind when I’ve moved … but since this isn’t really our house (it belongs to the university, just like our last one in Swarthmore), it’s a little more of an expected pain — and I just figure at this point, creating something beautiful is its own reward. Lovely to hear from you again!!!