Saturday got off to a bad start. The heat has been oppressive and the boys have been…BOYS. Monster Baby got up before dawn even cracked and was in a bad mood. Uncle Sam called and told us the Iowa County Fair was something to see–well you can’t ignore advice like that! The Hubs decided to take the big boys and I was going to take a nap with MB and do chores.
Naptime ended way to soon for me–I felt the urge to sleep all day, but alas that hasn’t happened for 8 years. The phone rang shortly after we are up and it is the Hubs–he tells me excitedly, “You want to see this, get Monster Baby dressed and I will wrangle him so you can explore.” OK, that is an offer that sounds to good to be true–What could be sooo amazing that he would want me to burn fossil fuel and $$ to come to a Fair? I don’t mean to be a fair snob, but I have been a regular attendee of THE FAIR…The Iowa State Fair…the fair by which all others are judged.
I drive to Mineral Point, Wisconsin. I get cash and gas and find my way through the gate and parking. I meet up with my hot and sweaty Hanson’s and they escort me to the Exhibition Hall. The Boys say, “Find us on the Midway” and I start to wander. I am really struck by what I see and amazed at what I find.
I enjoy looking at all the blue ribbon winners. I like looking around and enjoying the sights and sounds. Then I notice a few other things…so Wisconsin.
Yeah…shooting targets–that makes me giggle. That is why there is not a lot of Farmer-on-Farmer crime around here. Postered proof of a time when the best shot around also meant the best fed around.
Then I look around and started thinking. Remember when Home Keeping was a career, an art? Somewhere between Martha doing it “Perfectly” and Roseanne not doing it at all, the idea vanished. Last week at the Gala I explained over and over that I “just stay home” but that is really not true. I do a lot. The Hubs and I made an arrangement before we even said I do. He works outside the home–that leaves all the rest to me. He makes the money for the bacon, I buy it, cook it, clean it up and put it back on the list. This is my career. I don’t do what I do to make anyone feel bad–I do it because I like it and I want to be good at it. That is what I loved about what I saw at the fair.
This category is called Home Grounds. Flowers grown on your property. There is judging of flower arrangements that you grow and make. There are sewn items, framed photos, rag rugs, quilts even scrap book pages. Home Environment. Houseplants are next.
Then I go over to food perservation. There are rows and rows of bright and beautiful jars full of summer to be used all year long. I am jealous. My tomatoes never have turned out this well. I strike up a conversation with some ladies. I ask about the peach pit. One lady tells me her mother told her it keeps the color bright, the other lady said it is good luck. I listen and lean and laugh.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have had “real” jobs. Sitting in dress clothes praying for death or 5 pm whichever comes first. That was never my cup of tea. I wanted this, I choose this. I sometimes yearn for a reprieve. I wonder how other wives and mothers go from long work days to home work. I am jealous of their commute, their alone time. I feel like some days I work 3 shifts with no breaks and no days off for months on end. There are parts of my job I love and parts I loathe, but this IS work.
I guess the point of this post is that I like that there is a place where doing what I do and doing it well is judged and rewarded: Cooking, baking, growing, canning, sewing, decorating, and homemaking. Whether you do home-keeping full-time, part-time, alone or with help, give yourself a blue ribbon for something–I know you deserve it.
Happy Labor Day Everybody!