Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Am I a hypocrite?

This morning I walked out to the little garden at the back of the property. The garden is LITTLE. Like, maybe five feet by two? We planted corn, green beans, and pumpkins, however, late in June. So when my corn was supposed to be "knee high by the 4th of July" it was more like, oooh lookie there's a little green thing sticking out of the dirt! I joke that we'll have winter corn and pumpkins by next Spring.

Anyway, I noticed that although there is obvious growth, there are also obvious weeds. And while I was noticing the weeds, I was noticing how much I was getting chewed up by mosquitoes. And I hate mosquito bites, because I'm allergic to them and the little bumps swell up into feverish lumps all over my body. And several of them don't ever heal right, I end up with permanent bumps that are called dermo-something-or-other and I either have to ignore them or have them removed. It's really annoying. So while I am thinking about the lumps, I'm dreading pulling the weeds because usually there are bugs under the weeds and then when you pull the weeds, the bugs touch you and that is awful. Plus the squishy overgrown mess of a lawn was sneaking into my open toed sandals, and when I noticed that, I remembered my boys talking about the slugs that got into their shoes when they were running on this very lawn. About that time I thought, heck with the weeds, I'm going back inside.

And it hit me. I am just plain not an outdoorsy gal. It doesn't matter how primitive and traditional I make my home. How much I say I love home baked bread and the large collections of canning jars that sit empty around my house because they are the pretty old blue ones, and how much I adore driving up and down the roads where Amish folk live and love to buy their produce and wish I was Amish some days...Doesn't matter that my grandparents were all farmers on huge farms full of vegetables and fruit and animals (and dirt and bugs) ... I hate it. I hate it outside and I hate the bugs and I hate humidity in July and August and any other time it's humid. I hate to feel sweaty. And I just don't like to get my hands in dirt. I know that makes me sound like one big whiny baby hypocrite but I can't help it! I wasn't cut out for living off the land and pulling weeds.

I have said for many years how much I adore all of you who have giant gardens and beautiful landscapes. I appreciate all of it, I really do. I just don't get how to take care of any of it. I can play 3000 fiddle tunes on a dulcimer though and I can love my children and I can decorate my house and I can bake some mean cookies but the whole gardening weeding loving the outside thing? Nope.

I have been fighting this reality my whole life. I played outside when I was a kid with all my friends. I rode my bike and swam at the beach and did all those things kids do. But when it got hot and humid? Which kid was inside barfing? Me. It just makes me sick. And I grew up thinking something was just not right with me. I'm less of a person somehow than everyone else.

But am I really less a person? I mean, does it make me truly horrible to be this way? Some days I think so and other days not. I can't help it that I'm phobic about bees and June bugs and roaches and spiders and other creepy crawlies. I didn't ask to be born this way. I really don't like this part of me but seriously, is it worth tormenting myself to try to be different?

I used to wonder why I was born when I was when what I really love is Little House on the Prairie and all things old and antique and touring all those beautiful historical buildings up and down the east coast....But when it comes down to it, I'd be dead. I came down with scarlet fever when I was like, seven. So if I was actually born back in the olden days, without a cure for scarlet fever, I wouldn't be here. But other than that, I don't know that I could've handled all that outside-ness. I know that's not even a word. But you know what I mean. Oh well psychology would say that since I was born in that environment, I'd more than likely survive and thrive in that environment.

I just wasn't born then. So I'm going to stand up tall, inside my air conditioned home, eating canned corn and buying pumpkins by the dozen on someone else's farm, and just be proud. Why I have no idea, but it sure sounds good.

And another thing. Can someone please enlighten me about small towns? I had to go to the local grocery store today to get bacon because Husband was craving it and my dollar store up the road charges too much for bacon. So I went into the village (ha) and to the grocery (the only grocery) and started shopping. I don't understand why they charge so much...and why everyone in town supports them. The small town mentality is "support your local businesses" which I get, however, when your local grocery charges $4, $5 and up to $7 for a pound of bacon?? I got lucky (blessed, really) to find three packages that were clearanced out because of the date, they were only $1.10 so I bought them instead. $5 for one package of Klondike bars. Really? What would you do for a Klondike bar? Well I wouldn't spend $5 a package, that's for sure. I did have to spend $2.50 for a gallon of milk and that bothers me enough, but driving 20 miles for cheaper doesn't make sense unless you're going for a whole week's worth of groceries. My mom (who was born and raised in this and another farming town) is guessing that perhaps because the trucks have to drive to get here to the middle of no where that perhaps the wholesale cost is higher to these village grocers so they have to charge even more than normal to the consumer. Possible. I really wish I knew. Because coming from a bigger town with a ton of ways to bargain shop, my immediate reaction is more like the thinking that the grocer is taking advantage of the fact that they are the only grocery so they can charge whatever they want. Sounds so negative, and I apologize, but I just don't understand paying so much for groceries.

Except now that I know how hard it can be to grow corn, with the bugs and dirt and weeds, well, I wouldn't can it and sell it for pennies like I like to pay for canned corn. Maybe I'm the one with the screwed up thinking. ;-)

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