When I was in high school
one of the electives for freshman
was Home Economics.
I do not know what I took
but I was a career-minded, intellectual "snob",
and so I laughed when my dad
suggested I take it.
So, here I am:
living on a ranch, raising my kids, afraid of a sewing machine.
Somedays, I think I could use a few Home Economics lessons.
But . . . I have done it! I completed a tote bag.
To go with my Poetry Journal.
Often I write about birds.
My Grandma Marj was an avid bird watcher
and her favorite bird book was always Roger Tory Peterson's.
So the quote on my poetry journal is from him:
"Birds are eloquent expressions of life and vitality
And watching them makes you feel more alive."
And so is this:
She gave me my first Roger Tory Peterson field guide in 1980.
Like her, I have written the dates and places
that I have a new bird sighting
in my Peterson field guide.
of birds and my grandma.
Bittersweet feelings well up when I hear the call
of a chickadee, a blue jay, the cranes in the spring,
or see a slate colored junco or nuthatch.
I could not have made this tote bag
without my mom.
The machine, many phone calls, rotary cutter and mat,
trip to the fabric store, showing me where to bargain shop,
what kind of fabric to use, selecting thread.
Taking the machine 80 miles to her house
So that she could show me
how to thread the machine
without having an emotional breakdown!
And yet, it is good to do something
I did not think I could do
Or would want to do.
And enjoy it.
So, this recovering intellectual snob,
Who at age 15, planned on being a career woman,
Living in a suburb,
Is now a birdwatching at-home mom,
is an aspiring writer and photographer,
is in love with the man she married 14 years ago today,
is in love with the kids and lifestyle on this cattle ranch
on the South Dakota prairie
painted with wildflowers,
and she has learned to sew.
Photos & text copyright 2010 Jodene (Jodi) Shaw.