Just

Dissolving stereotypes

Sometimes it is just as easy to walk four miles as it is to walk three and a half. The sweat begins to roll at two miles so just keep on plodding forward. The creek bottom to the south of us was full into the fields last night after another two and a half inches of rain. Listening to the water run on the descent down the hill was comforting. Listening to the water run out the sump pump hole at my sister’s the night before was so so bliss.

Rain can do wonders for the lilies in the garden. Rural water just does not have the same effect. It is almost like they know it’s just too hot to put on petals that will get beat up in the sun and wind. Then the cloudy days arrive and boom- the blossoms are abundant and gorgeous. Just when it seemed they needed a real drink, the showers gave them the extra boost to load up on flowers for the beholder.

Rain can also damage tender plants. Look at the flooded field and the stunted growth of the corn nearby. Too much water causes root rot, tomato blight, lettuce rust, and fig leaf mold. Just when taco salad sounded wonderful, two more inches of rain turned my salad plans to muddy green mush. Oh, well, maybe next time!

Where is the justice for the “just a”=s? Growing up in a small town, we had a lot of theses people that kept the community fed, clean, oiled, gassed up, and protected. There was a woman who was just a waitress that trained me in all the in’s and out’s to the cafe where I worked. My job at the cafe was a pretty good pass time until the gal that was just a mom came to work. Having had eight or nine children, her ability to multi-task was pretty evident. She soon took over the best hours and I become the care maid. Being just the maid at the local establishment had it’s perks too. Like visiting with my classmates grandparents over the coffee hour.

The man that was just a janitor retired one day. The man that took his place was just a bus driver until he took over the janitorial position at the school. This man’s wife soon though maybe she could be more than just-a-mom and tried life at the cafe the summer that I spent with my sister at the north end of the state. The owner soon had to let her go, when she noticed inventory disappearing for the lady’s family. Her summer job ended with the return of school, myself (for weekend cleanup), and position in the school lunch room. Maybe the school wouldn’t mind if she was a bit more than just-a-cook.

The lady that was such a good multi-talker eventually owned the cafe. Her husband was just the local oil man. While the farmers coop had a gas station and did much of oil and tire changes, this man had the oldest brick building gas stop. It was the first one. Not until I nearly graduated from high school did I get the difference between the two places. One was all republican and Methodist. The other was democrat farmers and catholic. But i wouldn’t say it was just a catholic indrustry on his corner. He actually had the benefit of being right next to the bank and across the street from the bar. You can guess that he didn’t spend his time loitering in the bank.

The fellow that was just-a-hired hand came into the cafe on a regular basis to see his lady-friend that was just -a-waitress. The farmer that put up the new dairy took half the man’s job away as the dairy man that first hired him sold all the cows to the new dairy. They sat at opposite ends of the restaurant for their coffee. One sat at the bar/counter, while the other sat at a table. A few minutes later the coffee crowd arrived in and all sat at a separate table. Each man had his usual.

There was a group of ladies that came in for coffee and pie once a week. They say near the wall. One of them was just a mom, wife, and checker at the local grocer’s store. The others had worked as teacher’s or other occupations until retirement. One of the gal’s lived in “just a trailer house.” She was a cousin to the guy that sold the cows. She was a sister-in-law to my best friend of the group. Her house was on the lot one block east of the house that I grew up in. While i delivered paper to my friend in the large two and half story house, and also to her cousin, I never thought of her as living in just a trailer house.

Being just a home- school mom … Really?

Just a pinky toe.

While walking recently, my old grandma feet have decided to play tic tac with my toes. Wo taping the curly ones is a new chore. While on my four mile this morning, thoughts of the pinko toe ran through my head. This poor little appendage takes the brunt of the blows way too often. How many others have found door wars, footstools, table legs, or lego towers with this little toe. Yet the little piggy takes the hits over and over. It has not left the job of hanging on to the corner of the foot. It has not considered the justice of this crashes and while it swells and aches for a day or tow, it does not quit. The job of the pinky toe continues on.

The janitor might clean toilets, floors, windows, and chairs day after day. But if you have ever broken a bone or had some other calamity that kept you from keeping house, it doesn’t take long to wish you could hire a maid. Some people hire all the dirty work done by some one wo is just a house keeper. I prefer to do it myself. Actually…

Now that the tasks that used to be easy for me become harder, I wish I was just a pinky toe. This little piggy cried wee-wee-wee all the way home from my four mile walk. There is not justice in taking the blow for the entire body. Yet that curled little digit does it day after day. Dissolving into a fit of giggles when someone touches it could be a completely different cry of “Whee! Whee! Whee!”

Maybe I can’t dissolve a stereotype in a cup of tea, but the whole point of being just a grandpa is rather ludicrous. There are now robot maids, robot lawn mowers, robot secretaries, and even robot radio/weather channel/ clock/ and encyclopedias. There is no intention on my part to throw out the echo dot machine in my home, but if I could erase the conception that there is no purpose to life outside of my role as mother, wife, gardener, housekeeper, maid, cook, butler, baker, candle stick maker, and all of the other jobs that I do. Well, I am trying hard to BE instead of being what I do.

Sometimes Joy makes me cry. Sometimes pain. Sometimes we laugh so hard we cry. Sometimes what we do makes us cry and sometimes what we can not do makes us cry. Tears on the face dissolve like mist after rain. Yes, like mist dissolves into the rain, just after the storm the sun shines again. Stereotypes that others hold can cause pain like a flooding rain. “Will the sun ever shine again?”

Not just a journal keeper, writing is not a chore to accomplish before the dishes are done. Every little toe has a reason for being where it sticks out at- not just like a sore thumb either.

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