Tuesday, November 30, 2010

You Must Have Been Switched at Birth

That’s what my mother said to me when she found out that I enrolled in a Block of the Month Club at our local quilt shop.  Really, I thought they were going to teach me how to quilt-step by step.  I knew I wasn’t going to actually sew in class but I thought the instructors would.   I was wrong.   So, now I have signed up for this nine month quilt project—and I don’t sew.   Never let a little thing like that stand in your way.  Call up a few demos on YouTube and there you have it.  Block Three complete.

I don’t know how to crochet, but I made an afghan.  It isn’t quite rectangular, in fact, it’s trapezoidal at best, and a horrendous design, if design would be an appropriate term.  I don’t knit either, but I ordered a spinning wheel.    I found a llama farm near me so I drove up and asked for some fiber from their recent sheering.  I purchased the carders to comb it and I’m going to spin- after I figure out how to do it.  I’m sure YouTube will have a whole host of videos walking me through that process too.  Then I’ll learn to knit and purl and perhaps make a prayer shawl.

My husband and I made maple syrup by tapping our trees, we learned to can our home grown produce and how to make a soft herbed cheese from store bought milk. We learned to raise chickens and joined the beekeepers society although I have no great interest in beekeeping.  I’ll learn to do that too despite the pain of occasional stings and the fact that I am really not very fond of honey.

I work in town at the headquarters of a world wide company in a finance position.  My co-workers think this is all very interesting, but at the same time quite odd.  There are not too many chicken farming, syrup making, beekeeping analysts in our department.  

“No, we’re not turning Amish,” I explained to one of my co-workers (but I wish I had their knowledge).   Then why are we learning all this when we could just jump in the car and pick up almost anything we would ever need or desire at Wal-Mart?   Well, what if there wasn’t a Wal-Mart?  Or a Target, Sears, Kroger or any of the other major players?    Just imagine a time where you might just have to get through life depending on your own two hands.  I don’t know how far my spreadsheet capabilities will get me if I am hungry, cold or need medication.  

My great grandmother did all of these things in the normal course of her day.  Heck, even my grandmother made turtle soup in her kitchen- starting with a live turtle.   How did we lose such critical skills in the matter of two generations?  How are we going to get them back?  Who will pass them on?  Is the day coming that we may need to depend on them?  We’re learning.   Just in case.

The absolute worst thing that could happen is that we develop some new hobbies, meet some very nice people who have similar interests and have fascinating tidbits to share with our friends.  But if the worst should happen, we might be a bit more prepared.    

It’s been about thirty years since I wrote publically so please excuse me if I seem a bit rusty. If you care to come along on this trip, feel free to comment- send me your suggestions, tips and tricks, great websites and anything else that might be of interest.    


Kranky Granny said...

Kathy, When I find a new blog I like to go back and read the very first post and a few others in the early archives to get a since of what the blog was expected to be compared to how it actually evolved over time.

Your first post was delightful. You just jumped into the fray without any preambles like most new bloggers do. It was certainly apparent that you are an accomplished writer. I have found your first few post a delight to read.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Thank you. I was contributing to Jenny Matlock's blog for awhile too http://jennymatlock.blogspot.com/
She's fun. A couple of times a week she has a writing challenge where you get a prompt with a limitation on word counts. I need to get back to some of the creative things.