Tag Archives: family

Getting The Fire Going Again

I really let this blog lapse, and I do feel dreadfully about it. I just got terribly overwhelmed with real life and trying to be more responsible, that I let this responsibility lapse. Winter is always rough for me, since it makes my entire body ache, and the snow and ice we get here makes me either mince around inch by inch like a newborn calf or fall flat on my face. (I usually choose the former.) It’s also a sad time or me, especially in December, because my mum’s birthday is the eighth, and even though she’s been gone ages, it still stings. Same with my paternal grandfather’s birthday, ten days later. Even if he wasn’t a good man, I still cared about him. Throw school on top of winter, and I was glad just to keep functioning. I am back now, however, on this Mother’s Night. It’s funny, Yule and Mother’s Night always make me feel my lack of fellow heathens more keenly, probably because it’s right in the middle of the worst time of year for me. Still, though, progress on.

I ordered my 2014 seed catalogs tonight, and I am very excited about it. I did get my father’s approval to have a bit of garden, so I’m planning and plotting (pun intended) for that, and waiting for the cold to go away. I don’t know how much garden I’ll get, but I figure I can still work in his and my grandmother’s as well as my own. They don’t think I’ll stick with it, so all the more a challenge to me. Let it never be said I backed down from a proper challenge.

And let’s hope I can get in the rhythm of posting again!


Sheds and a (Lack of) Quality Time with Dad


So, the big project going on in my family this year is a new shed for tools and the rototiller, things like that. This being at my grandmother’s behest, however, means that it cannot be easy, oh no. My grandmother has been collecting dozens of wooden skids for months. so, rather than buying lumber, she and my father (84 and 57, respectively) decided that the pair of them were going to  rip up the skids and build a shed out of the wood.

Yay recycling! Or…not so much. This is a lot of time-consuming work. There were no blueprints, so of course, my dad had to draw them up. then he has to put this thing together, and she wants it to be weathertight and done before winter. This all sounds good in theory. Especially with homesteading and reuse and recycle and not having to pay crazy prices at Lowe’s for lumber. Saving money, woo.

However, throw in the fact that my father works ten hour days, doesn’t get home until after 5:00 at night after working in a steel fabrication plant all day and then at 9:00, has to leave to pick me up from my classes in the nearest city. All the work, therefore, has to be done on the weekends. This…has led me to be a little resentful of the shed, and let me explain why.

My mother died when I was very young. Since my dad went to work before the sun was up, I spent half of elementary school, and all of middle and high school at my grandmother’s, getting maybe an hour of time with my dad a night, until the weekends. Weekends were this free time where we could just do stuff or do nothing, because Sunday night I’d be carted back over to my grandmother’s house.

Now, yes, I am 26. I am an adult. However, I do like to still spend time with my family, and a half-an-hour a night with my dad during the week, and maybe two-hours on the weekend is making me wish I lived in Bewitched and could just wiggle my nose. My hope is that in a year I’ll have my own place, or at least a nest egg and a job with which to try and get my own place — and let’s be honest, I doubt I’ll get one within walking distance of where I am. I’ll have to move to wherever I’d get employed. I don’t know if that happens, how much quality time I’ll get with my dad, when I already see so little of him during the week. I want to spend what time I can with him, while I have it.

Of course, I can’t say this, because the work needs to get done, and all the whinging in the world won’t do anything but make everyone feel bad or think I’m being overemotional, so…I think I’ll be baking tomorrow. Bread maybe?

Family and Futures

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My SO pretty much interrogated me on my feelings about my family, and how my family works. Whether it was simply trying to understand or what, I don’t know, but it made me realize, and not for the first time, how different my family is, which was only highlighted today.

My family is multi-generational, with myself and Dad a block and a half (if that) from my grandmother, who lives with my aunt. A lot of the time, I’ll stay with my grandmother, who is turning 84 next week. I get to help her and she gives me old-fashioned lessons in sufficiency and the old-fashioned way of keeping house, and then, my aunt will take me to my classes, Dad will pick me up, and the whole thing starts over again, Monday-Thursday. It’s not “conventional” in any sense of the word, but it works for us.

My SO on the other hand, seems to think families should work very differently. Parents work and do all the childcare, grandparents visit and/or are visited on holidays, and if/when they get too old, they get put in a home. This just boggles my mind and my worldview. I know homes exist (my mother made me swear never to put my grandmother in one) but I’ve never met anyone who thinks they’re a good idea, unless it’s related to hospice or the person in question doesn’t want to come home, like my grandfather, before he passed away. I don’t like that sort of family set-up.

I suppose, for me, family has always been a big cornerstone. You eat at Grandmother’s 5 days a week, you do your tilling and hers, you help build a shed, you do your aunt’s IT problems, groceries are done all at once and divvied up between houses, that kind of thing. As much as I know I don’t want to stay in the middle of Amish Country, and that my hometown is not at all tolerant or pedestrian-friendly, I have a hard time imagining a life ten or twenty years down the line where I wouldn’t be involved, even from a distance, in the day-to-day lives of my family.

For a few years I’ve been planning to see if I could move to Pittsburgh, once I’ve had a job and been able to put some money away. My two best friends from college live there, and now the SO. Recently, however, I’ve been considering other options, more urban than where I live, but less urban than Pittsburgh. It started out as a thought of other places I could work if I couldn’t get hired in town, but I think I’m slowly falling in love (from a distance) with a place in Bucks County. I love Pittsburgh, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a 6 hour train ride from a city 45 minutes away from me. I’m no longer sure I’d like settling down that far from my family, and I don’t know if my SO would be okay with leaving home.

The future is a very nebulous place, full of might-be and what-if. I need to think over these things, pray about it a little, and ask the ancestors for guidance, maybe talk it out with Grandmother too.


We found out the other night that my cousin passed away. He was in the Air Force in Japan and was in a car accident. I was feeling sort of numb, as I hadn’t seen him in years, so, as usual, I turned to cooking. (When it rains, it pours.)

One girl in my class had never had a whoopie pie. Growing up in Amish country, this seemed to be something that must be fixed. So, I made whoopie pies. So far one teacher has credited one with saving her life on her hour-long drive home. The sad thing? The girl who had never had one didn’t show up today.

Ah well.