Things I Don’t Know About

I love a great pun. Reading a children’s book with the line, “I love you doggedly, like a flea,” just delights me. Clever words tickle my ears and I absolutely love that my four year old describes herself “rushing across the backyard” instead of the conventional running. So why, I ask, do I groan every time I see a church sign that is so punny?

Last night I drove past two different churches and both gave me a pause and an inner wailing noooo-just-please-nooo. The first said, “Son screen prevents sin burn.” A few miles down the road there was another, “Gardening with God brings peas of mind… Lettuce be kind. Squash gossip. Turnip for church.” I wonder who invented church signs, anyway? And could we stick with profound and simple instead of brain twisting word play? question_2


Summertime here is synonymous with lost shoes. Every time we want to go away, someone ends up weeping that they can’t find anything to wear on their feet. Each little girl has sandals, crocs and flip-flops. You would think at least one complete pair would be in their shoe box, but we end up doing the rounds of the sand box, play house, Suburban, etc until everyone is properly shod. We met out-of-state friends on Monday night to visit for a while. When we left it was dark and I didn’t think to check for the girls’ sandals. We left not one pair, but two. A few days later, while I was driving to retrieve the missing shoes, I got a text from my mom: Girls left their flip flops here–Will drop them off later.

I feel like Little Bear’s mother, who kept making him more and more clothes to stay warm, but finally he stripped down to just his own little bearskin and was perfectly happy without any other clothes. What a relief that was! Having said that, I have to admit that bare feet are not always good, as Rita discovered when she was picking wild raspberries and cut a deep gash in her foot that required stitches. And I am certainly not suggesting letting our children run around in just their little skins, but hey, it was the first plan in Eden! Still. Imagine how much time we would save if we weren’t constantly washing things in a ceaseless effort to stay clean. ???

My boys are on a camouflage kick this summer. They wear their camo shirts and pants day after day, until I insist strenuously that they have to change. It seems to be the last word in tween boy fashion and it sure does save on laundry, but it’s a little monotonous. I wonder how long this stage will last?

I myself have been losing things the last few days. I couldn’t find my glasses one morning, searching until I had a headache. So I got out my spare pair with black plastic frames, very modern and hot they are (as in, they make my face feel hot), but at least I could see without strain. It was days before someone pulled my favorite pair out of a crack in the couch and how they got there, I have no idea.

I have been reading this lady’s story of how she went minimalist and sold and sold stuff and got rid of everything that wasn’t nailed down or made her truly happy, like her children. They pulled out the shrubbery so they wouldn’t have to waste time trimming it. She keeps saying, “You can always buy another [insert material good here] if you find you need one.” And she got rid of almost all her clothes and went and bought what she calls a “capsule wardrobe” which is just about fourteen pieces of clothing that pair well with each other in endless combinations. I think it sounds fascinating, but I have concluded that this is sort of a first world thing to do. If you are not wealthy, you don’t go buy all new clothes from name brand stores so that you can always look pulled together and your closet looks coughed out of Pinterest. No, you go to Goodwill and enjoy the treasure hunt. So your grill isn’t the last name in sophistication. The hamburgers taste great and you know you will not be replacing it just because it doesn’t quite make you as happy as that other one on the market. Except in the quite unlikely event that you find one at a yard sale. Or unless you have plenty of money. So there is this disconnect with simplicity and lifestyle that bugs me. And if we got rid of our two freezers that hound energy and hog space, where would we put our green beans? I just don’t want to live in a Tiny House, thank you very much.

Speaking of beans, has anyone ever experimented to see if green beans will keep making baby beans forever if you don’t pull them out? I am just curious. We knew we planted extra and have sold about 3 bushels of them, just because we really want some other stuff in our freezer too.

It’s August. I cannot believe it, but my ears insist it is true. The fall insects are in full cry outside my window, serenading the waning blue moon. I saw some bright red leaves beside the road, so naturally I just ate a bowl of ice cream with fresh raspberry sauce to reassure myself.

The children wanted me to join them in the pond today. I had 17 things to do, but I chucked them all and went and floated in the sunshine. The wash is ever with me and I can scrub the fly specks off the windows tomorrow. Addy keeps asking me if we can blow up balloons, if we can buy ice cream, if we can have friends over, if we can roast marshmallows… I have a habit of absent-mindedly murmuring, “Oh, maybe.” She had enough of it and asked in exasperation, “What does maybe mean?”

I hope your summer is just as amazing and cheerful as ours!

Next up: a guest post from my husband!

5 thoughts on “Things I Don’t Know About

  1. I like your comments on that style of minimalism being a first world thing. Just yesterday I read something along the same vein on The Art of Manliness, that the extreme minimalism that’s the cool way to live recently is a rich person’s kind of thing, and probably rich and single if they’re the “I only own 100 things” kind of minimalist.

    I much prefer to thoughtfully and thankfully own things, because in my mind extreme minimalism is just as focused on Stuff as hoarding is, only in the opposite direction. And we all know that Stuff is mentally draining, and who wants that?

  2. I’m sure this will reveal just how trendy I am, but extreme minimalism is a thing? That’s cool? I feel baffled.

  3. I am currently in the process of throwing everything that does not make me happy- into the dumpster. I no longer have time to shuffle it about my house. It’s time to live! I am sure some minimalism is actually a rich persons thing, but it can also be a case of more children then house room, or a case of having had 5 children in 10 years and the clothing issue is out of control! Thin clothes, thinner clothes, in between clothes, fat clothes, fatter clothes, and finally maternity clothing! Almost all of them goodwilled or secondhanded. But MrB is building me a sewing studio, and soon about a 1/3 of my house will exit and allow the rest of us to sigh with relief.
    I love that she “rushes”, my 5 yr old Lollipop has to “be in a certain mood for certain things”. It seems as if parenting becomes just better and betterer as the children get older. I won’t put a disclaimer in on how much I love the baby stage, because that’s a given. But oh how I love the conversations and communications of my older children.

  4. I don’t understand the forgetting to take your belongings and shoes along home thing, that some of the younger generation practice. And please understand that I’m not being nasty here. When I was growing up we took very good care of our things and if we had a nice piece of clothing or anything at all,we put a value on it and took care of it. I wonder what other grandmothers have to say about this?

    1. They probably have too much stuff, but also in summertime my children prefer to be barefooted, so as soon as we get where we are going, they take off their shoes.

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