My So-Called Real Life.

wild-sky.jpgLately, I’ve been blathering on about all the travel I’ve been doing and I fear I may be coming across like Little Miss Braggy-Pants. But au contraire! I can assure you that I, too, put on my panty hose one leg at a time and in fact, usually manage to snag the pair before I can even pull ‘em up.

So in the spirit of full disclosure, here’s what I’ve been doing lately (and yes, you might want to chug a Red Bull to stay awake during this).

Last week, I drove 14 hours up to NYC (Road Warrior!) to move my daughter out of the off-campus house she’s been renting for 2 years.

The "before" photo.

The “before” photo….or is this “after”???

That involved hauling about 25 items out to the main street so people driving by could stop and help themselves, shoving a giant sofa out the back door, breaking down a bed frame & then cajoling the darling sanitation engineers of Queens to dump the residue into the maw of the garbage truck.

Just add chairs (you can't see the mattress inside) & I'm officially the Beverly Hillbillies!

Just add chairs (you can’t see the mattress inside) & I’m officially the Beverly Hillbillies!

Look familiar?

Recognize this?

I also managed to use this tool to decouple about 10 pieces of Ikea furniture, worth maybe $65, that I will doubtless never be able to reassemble – with or without the clever Swedish instructions. I scrubbed multiple cleaning surfaces too gross to mention, washed every fabric in sight (drapes, bed linens, towels, mattress pads, etc.), cleaned out a very scary basement, and took a battered door off its hinges and hauled it into Home Depot to replace it.

On the other end of that venture (i.e. home) I unpacked and washed all of Lulu’s clothes – in the mad delusion that if all her clothes were really well-organized, she’d go through them and throw half the stuff away.

120 t-shirts? 28 sweatshirts? Seriously??

120 t-shirts? 28 sweatshirts? Seriously??

In the meantime, I had an epiphany/horrible realization that I’ve participated in the delinquency of a minor. As I was stepping through literal piles of clothes (belonging to other kids) in the laundry room of Lulu’s new house, it occurred to that all our kids have so many clothes – so many cheap clothes, made by underpaid workers in the developing world – that they don’t value any of them. They don’t take care of their clothes, respect them or treasure them – because they cost virtually nothing. It’s kind of like the food we eat –it’s cheap, ubiquitous and so easy to get, it doesn’t really matter that it’s worthless crap.  And that attitude is making our entire country sick, and turning our children into heedless consumers.

Have you noticed the same thing with your kids??

(I read a review about a book on this subject that I’m dying to read: Story of My People by Edoardo Nesi, an Italian novelist who lost his family’s textile factory to the “titanic foreign multinationals” who “sell their heartless, unimaginative rags and schmattes everywhere around the world,” promising “Giorgio Armani at Walmart costs.” Sound familiar?? )

More, more, more...

More, more, more…

Yeah, I am officially an Elephant Woman.

Call me Elephant Woman.

But I digress from my fabulous life. On Friday, I weeded about 200 square yards of scrappy turf at the college (where my hubby is president), drowning in sweat and red Georgia clay, so the returning students would have someplace nice & clean to throw their cigarette butts and beer cans. I slaved in the name of marital solidarity as my husband was also spreading mulch and weeding (something I’ve never seen him do in 17 years of marriage) so that was a kind of bonding moment. Unfortunately, I also managed to pull up a fair share of poison ivy – and now am covered in horrible weeping bumps –requiring serious prednisone and a giant hat to hide under. So yeah, no photos of my frightening face — and I’m on major steroids, so I’m emotionally unbalanced, too.

The funny thing is, (and this is not the result of too much prednisone — honest!) I really love doing this stuff (even weeding)– probably as much as I love to travel. In my bones, I’m just kind of a home girl after all. I love to be with my daughter more than anything on earth (even when she’s crabby) and there are few things I find more satisfying than cleaning up a place, or organizing and putting a shine on a room, a house, or a bare stretch of earth.

My aptly-named elephant ears.

My aptly-named elephant ears.

And just because, apparently, I am a bit of a Miss Braggy Pants after all, I can’t resist ending with a few pretty pictures. After our week of travail, we did manage to get away yesterday to northwest Georgia, where we hiked the pretty little Cloudland Canyon trail and managed to see some of this beautiful outdoors. north georgia

cloudland canyon

So – thank God it’s Monday! Back to the garden, y’all.wet hike

20 thoughts on “My So-Called Real Life.

  1. Just last night — our son’s nineteenth birthday — I commented on yet another brand new shirt he’d put on before running out the door. He must have fifty of them.

    I hope Lulu is doing well, and that your poison ivy has begun to fade. Great pictures. And I love that you used the word maw. It’s almost as good as misbegotten!

    • And I love that you notice the words I use, BB — makes my day! (But I did have an extraneous “so” in the 7th paragraph, which I know you noticed — darn it!!) Happy Birthday to your son — hope he got lots of new shirts for the occasion! (-:

  2. Jeez Betty, you do go all out and I hope Lulu and Oglethorpe both appreciated all of your efforts. The poison ivy is a nasty badge of honor, but I am sure you wear it well, and hopefully it will be cleared up quite soon. xoxo

    • Thanks, Jeff — it’s not much of a badge of honor but thank God for prednisone … it’s the only thing that cures it@! And I have to say, I loved being up in NYC and doing the moving thing! Go figure….

  3. Been there, done that … and would do it again. Ha. Guess it’s a mom thing. I’ve even had the horrendous poison ivy after trimming shrubs before a trip to Park City. And yes, the trip included a trip to the emergency clinic. I remember more about the poison ivy than the wonderful trip! Thanks for sharing and bringing back memories of moving Meredith out after college.

  4. Fortunately, Lulu will not face nakedness anytime in the near future. Holy wardrobe, Batman!

    Sorry to hear about the poison ivy. Sometimes the steroids are more curse than cure–at least it’s been that way for me. Gosh, I hate to think about weeding in the heat and humidity of a Georgia summer! You’re more garden saint than garden gnome.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

    • Believe me, I’m hardly a saint… but I do like to weed. How many annoying things in your life can you pull up by the roots and get rid of?? Even temporarily! I do worry about all the cheap clothes we seem to be addicted to in the USA — don’t you think with your and Sara’s experience in developing countries that people value and take care of their clothes a LOT more than here??? Wishing you well — and hope to see more of your book soon!!!

  5. Glad to know you’re normal like the rest of us Betty! Hope your poison ivy gets better soon. I don’t own one T-shirt (yeah)! But I think you know how I feel about clutter. Glad you were able to hike…looks beautiful! Have a great week.

  6. Oh! my, how I can empathize with you and the poison ivy scourge; may you never again go thru that!!
    I appreciate your comments on the unconscious materialism we have fostered; we do need to back off from acquiring so much stuff. Beautiful country to soothe the soul and refresh the spirit! Loved your thoughts and insights.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s