31 January 2008

The familiar rhythm of the unremarkable

Painting by Carl Larsen from allposters

With the Australia Day holiday last Monday I had only two days at work this week, but they were very busy. As well as all the phone calls and people coming in, we're getting ready to move to a new premises, I'm teaching myself MYOB (one of my new tasks is that of bookkeeper), and there was a new volunteer to train on her first day. She has a lot of great skills so I think she's going to be a great asset to the Centre.

Driving down the mountain late yesterday afternoon to return home, I started planning what I would do in the next few days. There is no doubt about it, when you live a simple life there is always something that must be done, as well as all those tasks that might to others seem like work, but are really a joy to me.

I know there are many women who have a few days off and decide to get through the housework as quickly as possible so they can enjoy the rest of the time doing what they love. I am not one of those women, I used to be, but I've changed. Now the various tasks of running a house are what I thrive on, they are done slowly throughout the day and broken up with breaks and what others might consider hobbies, but I see as work for my home. These things include sewing and knitting because although they give me pleasure in the doing of them, I knit and sew for the practical reason of necessity.

When I got home yesterday Hanno told me he'd been cleaning out the cupboards in one of the kid's rooms and found three bags of fabric. Yippee! Two were full of fabric I vaguely remember using about 25 years ago and although it is very old, still looks good. There is plain, neutral linen and small patterns, similar to what I like now. My taste in many things hasn't changed over the years, which is strangely comforting to me. The third bag was full of ribbons, velcro, trims, cording, curtain edging and rings. Seeing the three bags made me realise that although I think I'm new to this style of living, and although I was a big spender in days gone by, there is a mishmash of things - like vegetable gardening, keeping chooks and sewing- that I have done for decades. They might not have been there all the time, but they have dotted my life trying to point me to the place I am right now. I'm a slow learner sometimes but I finally got the message.

So today I am back to the familiar rhythm of the unremarkable. These days are what make up my life now and although they might be considered a bit ho-hum and tedious to many of my contemporaries, it's the part of my life that brings me back to earth, that reaffirms my spirit and allows me to experience a kind of ever present contentment with the soft routine of each day.

Never underestimate the mundane.

Tasks today include: bake bread and an orange cake, strip the bed and wash the sheets, look through my recipes and find two new evening meals to expand my repertoire, continue the garden plan, I'll sort through the fabric bags discovered yesterday and add the fabric to my stash, sew the top of the kitchen curtains, decide on an Autumn knitting project - I have a good amount of pinky-mauve merino wool, and do a general tidy up. It's been raining on and off over night and I hope that continues so I can hear the rain on the rooftop a I work. Looks like a lovely day coming up.

I want to thank everyone for yesterday's great suggestions for portable fast food. I'll be using a number of the ideals presented. I am thankful for all the comments everyday and I think they add a lot to the growing archive of practical knowledge being accumulated here.

I have another request. I'd like to compile a list of potential post subjects. What would you like me to write about? I'm quite happy to consider your suggestions because, although I usually have a topic in mind, or I just write about my day, like above, I sometimes come to the computer with barely the skeleton of an idea. Sometimes I feel I'm repeating myself too, so all comments along this line are most welcome.

I hope you're having a good week. Thanks for visiting me. : - )

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