Thursday, July 21, 2011

Reverse Psychology

I love blogging for two reasons, one that I get to express myself and my opinions by writing on my blog, and two because I get to read awesome posts by other bloggers.

Lately, one of my favorite bloggers, the Reluctant Entertainer, is blogging about canning, something which I personally love and wish I had the storage to do in quantity. But it has also brought me back to thinking about what I knew, personally, about canning. What do I remember from my childhood, what memories turned me on to canning? I have a faint image of canned fruit in my great-grandmother's basement. I remember my grandmother and mother always having a few cans of beets and tomato (sauce?) on hand. I don't remember ever eating out of them, but that wouldn't be something that would remain in my memory. I also don't remember ever seeing anybody can, in the preserve-in-the-pantry type of way. Everything would be thrown into the freezer for later consumption, and they were mainly sauces and soups. No fruits, no vegetables, no jams or jellies. Why is that?

When I asked my mother why that was, she said that with two jobs and two to four children depending on the year (she often had to take care of the children by my father's first marriage) who the heck had time for any of that, especially when a jar of pickles was 99 cents. She also said that she remembered her mother and grandmother having a huge garden and having days (usually Saturdays) reserved just for canning everything that could be canned, and the pleasure she and her siblings had getting a spoonful or so of hot jam on a hunk of bread. Then, looking away, she said quietly that she wished she could have done so, also.

There is a french band called Mes Aieux, which I simply adore. They have a song called De-generations, which fits this situation so perfectly, it seems to have been written for me and many of my generation implicitly. We play it every year at Christmas, and I see the look in my family's eyes, where they feel the words to this song, in their hearts and souls, and I wonder. How did my family line go from self-sufficient (or almost) farmers down to wistful regrets and longings for something lost? And why am I the only one of my 17 cousins who wishes to go back to my roots? Why do I want to go back to my roots?

I think in part because I saw and heard the want, the need to live the life that feels natural, once you get right down to it. In part because what I see out there is full of technology and devoid of warmth. I want to take the time, and in the world we live in, there is no time to do anything, even though everything was made to save time, go faster, be better, and produce more.

It makes me laugh when people ask me what will I do with myself, with my time, when I become a housewife. How will we ever survive? I wonder how they survive, not having a stay at home mom, where they find the time to do anything, how they can raise their kids successfully while holsing full time jobs, and then some. The answer, is simply that they have other people raise their children, eat other people's food, and have other people manage their lives. Is it, in the end, their lives to live at all?

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