. . . it would be kind of boring. When I read her journals for the first time a few years ago, I was surprised at her brevity. A typical day's entry might have read, "Washed 4 loads of laundry. Called Edna. Baked a cake." What made it so surprising was the fact that she had nine children, lived on a farm, and was a schoolteacher. Surely there must have been more exciting things to journalize.
|My Grandma, in the 1950's.|
I was reminded of a greeting card I once sent. The front cover depicted an older pioneer couple driving a covered wagon across the plains, and the caption said something like "Diary Entry #357." The inside read, "Ate again. It was good."
Listed in one of my Grandma's journal entries was this gem: "Took Bob to the emergency room." No further details, and we are left wondering what mysterious fate had befallen Bob. It's a good thing I knew the background story -- "The-Day-Your-Dad-Ran-Over-Uncle-Bob-With-The-Tractor" -- so I could place the entry in historical context.
One day in their early teens, my dad was driving the tractor when his older brother fell off. Since it was a freshly plowed field there were nice deep furrows of soft soil and luckily he fell into one, so that as the tractor rolled over him it didn't do any real damage. This story usually ends with the phrase, "Good thing there wasn't a 'disker' on there! An entry a few days later simply stated, "Bob's feeling better. His chest still hurts him some."
A couple weeks ago I had quite a busy day that started out in the morning with sewing a flannel blanket as a baby gift. My schedule had gotten a bit out of control over the course of the week, and I was left with having to hurry up and sew it that morning so it would be ready for gift giving later that day. After I nursed my 5 month old baby, I spread out my fabrics to cut and pin as my husband cooked breakfast. I put the baby in the bouncer while I made the turned and top-stitched blanket. As we ate, I jostled the baby in one arm and placed the blanket and other presents into a gift bag in between bites. I handed the baby to hubby while I ran down to the basement and switched loads of laundry, then came back to play with the baby so he could get showered and dressed for the day.
After another hand-off, I was able to get myself ready to go, got the children dressed, nursed the baby again, then off we went to visit our friends and their newborn son. Afterward, hubby took a quick break to run us back home before he left to help his brother remodel his rental unit until late that night. I came in and put the baby down for a nap, then ran down to change the loads of laundry again. As I was putting the last couple items in the dryer, he woke u, so. I threw those items into the dryer, slammed the door shut, pressed the start button, and ran back upstairs to tend to the kids..
My day continued in this manner, doing one task here, another chore there; folding one shirt here, washing a sink full of dishes there – but leaving some dishes undone and a couple baskets of laundry unfolded.
Suddenly I realized it was late evening and that we hadn't eaten yet. I decided to make an Amy's Organic Pizza, and as I was heating up the oven and getting the pizza on the baking stone, I had one of my typical internal monologues:
"Hey, how do I know this is really organic anyway? Even if it is, there's no sense in feeling virtuous...it's still just processed food. Can anything mass-produced and sold in huge quantities at every grocery store really be organic? Hmmm, I need some meat on this, I think I'll cut up and add some Halal (Kosher) Smoked Turkey Breakfast Slices and put it on the pizza. HEY! How do I even know this is really halal? OK, so even if it weren't, and I bought it thinking it was, it wouldn't be my fault. But, dang it, if that's the case, it sure does suck going to a special market just for peace of mind. You know, I could really go for something sweet... ooooohh, I have an emergency box of brownie mix tucked away up in the cupboard, I could make those. No, no, you don't need them, and besides, those are for special PMS emergencies. But wait, the baby is almost six months old, and there haven't been any feminine cycle related emergencies yet, you may as well just go ahead and make them."As I was having these random food thoughts, Winona, my best friend of over thirty-five years called, so I related all of the above to her. After our chat, we ate and I got the kids to sleep. As I finally sat down exhausted late Saturday night for some of my missed shows OnDemand, munching happily on my brownies, I realized something. I finally understood why my grandmother recorded things in her journal the way she did. How can you possibly record all the minutia of daily life, and even if you could, who really cares anyway?
That's why, if my Grandma had been blogging about my day, the post would probably read:
"Sewed a blanket. Did some laundry. Talked to Winona. Baked brownies."
|Diary Entry #357: Ate again. It was good.|