Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Philosophizing Morning

Philosophizing, that is not a word but it works doesn't it? We woke up to gray skies and cold weather after it getting so warm that I almost took the blankets off the bed. I know better now. I have lived here long enough to remember that when it's hot just kick the covers off, don't pack them up till the end of March. It takes an adult learner in my age group 5 or 6 repetitions at least to learn something new. I can remember, when I could learn much faster than that. Not any more.

Which are the thoughts that led me down a little rabbit trail. We have been in Mississippi for 8 years now. It has taken us that long for me to make the house a home. It has taken this long to learn my way around more than my immediate neighborhood, and develop some sense of direction for where I am going. It has taken this long to establish good friendships with people we really care about. During this time we have also aged more. My husband is in his early seventies. I am in the throes of menopause where mental clarity and sleep deprivation are big issues. We are maybe not as adaptable to change as we once were. I can't see being able to get the husband to move into a different neighborhood locally much less a huge move into a different area. So this is it. Any coping with the changes in this world are going to have to be done right here. Bloom where you are planted. It scares me. I like having an escape plan. In reality, it's probably already to late. If we didn't have the girls we could move about 30 minutes away from where we are and be in the country, but that won't work with the kids. It's too late to introduce them to the country life.

The country life led me down another rabbit trail. There are a lot of things I would do differently if I was raising kids again. I think about Heidi and the Milkman and how they are raising their boys quite often. Their children play and have fun but they also have chores. They are learning to work right now. Their ten year old son knows how to help a cow give birth. I don't know about you, but I am impressed with that. If that ten year old boy happened upon an emergency on the side of some road some where, and a woman was giving birth he could help out. He would know more what to do than most adults. I would guess that kids raised on a farm grow up not only knowing how to work, but grow up expecting to work. I can't see them wondering what kind of a career would bring them the most fulfillment in life. Really that is a lot of bunk.

Piglet wants to go to a college that costs 15,000 a year. She hasn't put forth any effort to look into scholarships or financial aide. She really doesn't have a goal in mind. I'm not seeing it happen. She works, saves, and spends money on eating out, and whatever she wants. I don't see her really thinking about how to make this college thing happen. I may be wrong but my husband and I were talking about this today. If the parents don't have a plan, the kids don't have a plan. If the parents don't raise the kids to work from the time they are very young, they don't expect to have to work. If we let them play when they are young ninety percent of the time, they don't really expect life to be different when they are grown. Both of our girls fuss about the "time for myself" that means doing what they want to do. That's the way I raised them. I let them play a lot. I wanted them to be happy. I wanted them to experience life and climb trees and make mud pies. I did and they did. They were happy children. Those things are good. But somewhere in there I should have also taught them to work, more than just making their beds and cleaning. I just didn't think about that.

If you think about schools and colleges in terms of business, they are in the business of having students. They are not in the business of producing people who work. My experience in college was that teachers advise you to continue in education. That's how they get a pay check.
I went to a local junior college for a lot of years and didn't accomplish anything. I just kept signing up for class and getting my financial aide. I went to junior college as a kid for 6 years. I'm embarrassed to tell you that. If I could do it so can other people. I wasn't trying to exploit the system. I was young and didn't know what I wanted to do. No one offered me any other suggestion than to "explore my options." When I finally got tired of that I went to cosmetology school for one year to get a trade and get a job. I became a nurse much later in life.

So what's the point? I'm not sure, because I am philosophizing this morning. I am thinking about the scary stuff in government. I am thinking that the world as I know it, is going to change and never be the same. I am thinking about these girls and am not so sure they are ready to do make it. I wish I lived on a farm and had taught my girls to pitch hay, ride horses, and marry farmers.
My girls will make good wives and mothers. That is truly what I prepared them for.

What about you? Are these times causing you to reflect about your life? Are you uncertain about the direction of this country? Can your family ride out a depression if/when we go broke? Do you know how to survive without all the modern conveniences? Does borrowing a trillion dollars from foreign countries make you feel vulnerable and exposed? What do you think?

On a lighter note...

A friend of mine Angela says what she thinks, and apparently she thinks a lot of me, enough to give me a special friend award with these words.

"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”!

Wow Happy Valentines Day. If you would like this award feel free to pick it up and give it away. It's a great day to share some love.

My 8+ choices include but in no way are limited to these. I don't like picking up a non specific reward, it's embarrassing to me, but if you want it you can take it! You have to put those lovely complimentary words in your post for others.
1. Kris.
2. Flea
3. Karen
4. Elyssa
5. Heidi.
6. grandma j.
7. CBW.
8. Rosie Kate
9. Jeri
10. PEACH and MJ.
11. and you, yes you.


Unknown said...

Wow, what a thought provoking post. I feel the same way about roots. I relocated upon retiring and while I have family close by, I don't have my longtime circle of friends. Thank God for email and cell phones.

Happy Valentine's Day, and thank you.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

good post...I have always had my kids do some sort of work... when I have seen what they are better at then they do that more and more but each kid has worked around here inside and out sometimes with pay sometimes not. Corys turning into a good man and he cracks me up with something he says or does each time i get to see him. I think the past week and a half are the longest I have ever gone in his 21 years without getting to see or talk to him ... Martha is coming along sometimes are better than others but I think she is learning that alot I say really DOES apply to her (she sometimes believes she is different or somthing than the rest of the world in the work respect)
I like blog awards but hate giving them because i always feel that I am leaving someone out who really should get it. SO thank you. YOU make a difference in my life!

Laura ~Peach~ said...

ohhh heck forgot the main work thing... BOTH of my kids have spent YEARS working at the nursing homes I have worked in, cory started when he was 9 yrs old and did work until he was 14 anything from helping put out supplies pushing people in their chairs, carrying garbage out, and one lady would only eat for him. Martha started at 10 and stayed until 13 as well she worked in the kitchen cleaning tables, pushing people to activities, putting up supplies and stocking closets she helped in laundry and with activities, as did cory. I know many people touched their lives and I get a kick out of how much more my kids appreciate older persons and how well they act with them now... many people seem to think that old people dont want the company or to be bothered but thats so not true they love sharing about their lives with anyone who will take the time to listen to them. Both kids learned that people are a great investment and that what I do is WORK LOL. anyway ... I am glad they had the opportunities to do the things they have.

farmlady said...

Wow! you said a blog full here and I agree with most everything that you said. The problem is that everyone can't be raised on a farm.
You just do the best you can do and hope for the best. If you're fair with your children and show them the best ways that you can what this world is all about(from your point of view), they will survive.

Rick said...

Thanks for posting the doodle. It look good here. I hope you had a nice Valentine's Day. I did.

Angela said...

I did the same with raising my boys, and my daughter. Let them be happy and play, they are children for such a short time. bla bla bla me!!! SIGH...This was a POWERFUL post. I can't do it all over again in raising them, I do pray to God that He works in my children's lives, past the mistakes I've made in raising them...

This was GOOD think post Karen..((hugs))

Anonymous said...

Don't be hard on yourself AT ALL. I never, never did work or chores while growing up. My mom let us play or we got away with not doing anything. I never knew ow to cook, sew or manage anything, let alone finances.

At 18 I went to college for my first degree. I went to school at night and worked all day to pay for MY own apartment. I didn't want roommates. I worked all the time and did internships. Lucky for me I met a man where I would never have to work again but what did I do at age 32? I went back to school for another degree in the sciences wile my other degree was in the arts. Now I'm starting another major business, one that requires way more money than I could ever think of having in the bank.

My point is...this was not instilled in me from my family. If it's there, in them, it will blossom. If it's not there, there is nothing you culd have done otherwise to make it happen for them.

Grandma Tillie's Bakery said...

Thank you for the award Karen! I will out it on my blog today. I am also going to email you privately about this post...

Rosie_Kate said...

Aw! Thanks for the mention! I'm flattered! :-)

Very thought provoking post. I'll have to gather my thoughts into something useful (as I have many...) and do a post on the subject.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Oh, don't beat yourself up. You raised your children the way people were raising them-- I'm grateful my parents let me play a lot and that I was able to lie in the grass and contemplate life, I think that's probably what contributed to some of my artistic abilities. On the other hand, I am one of those parents that has kids contributing to every part of the house. My boys cook, do some of the laundry, do various housework chores daily and help with yard work sporadically-- but my oldest couldn't come up with a plan to save his life. I partially blame it on the friends who never had to do any work and have cash and cars handed to them like it's no big deal. He thinks that's how it should be. The worse thing is we've set down our rules with him-- tough love-- but grandma comes in and hands him cash, a car, and pays for whatever he needs (!) while he whines about there being NO jobs available (hard to find a job when your home playing halo).
oops, I guess you hit a nerve, I was just trying to say that you did the best you could-- no regrets!
Thank you for the pretty bloggy bling-- I hate passing them on too, I feel like I'm back on the playground picking teammates.