Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Of Quilts and Potatoes

Here are some of the recent activities that I have been involved in at the Shelter: Quiltmaking, Potato digging, and playing Spoons!

Last week we had a project where girls were constructing their own quilt squares- using Wonder-Unders. No- that is not an undergarment - it's some sort of adhesive iron-on material that makes the scraps of material adhere to the backing. Ingenious. So they didn't have to actually SEW it on. A good thing because I think needle and threading them together would have driven some of them really batty. As it was, some chose to do a decorative stitch around the outside border, and that was test enough of their sanity. Anyway- I participated and had more fun that I anticipated... but I am in no way convinced that this is any indication of latent craftiness in me. It was ALL the Wonder-Under.

Potato Digging: On Monday, I went along to the Community Co-op farm where the girls volunteer once a week. The task for the day was weeding and digging up potatoes. I tried both and found the digging/harvesting much more rewarding. Of course, it was only for an hour and a half or so, but it was kinda fun mucking about in my bare feet. I got quite filthy COMMUNING WITH THE EARTH!

I thought briefly, as I wiped the sweat from my forehead, of how easy we have it today compared with our ancestors, to whom backbreaking, sweaty physical labor in the fields was not a matter of an hour and a half of community service...but a daily reality and truly a matter of life and death. It's interesting to think of how our existence can be traced back to the faithfulness of our ancestors. In other words, I was thankful for the generations of people who struggled and scrimped and saved and stretched and sweated and SURVIVED to produce food...to feed families...who had children...who in turn had children...and so on... and eventually, I arrived on the scene...with my microwave and refrigerator and Shaws and Hannafords. Huh. I can feel them scoffing at me from their graves.

I was ALSO thankful that I didn't encounter any cut worms, which the girls were collecting to feed to the chickens after we were done our tasks. One girl was collecting potato bugs to string onto a necklace. Well, THERE'S a crafty one. Most of the girls are ultra-city girls and it was a great hurdle to convince them that getting dirt under their fingernails was not a major catastrophe. And they didn't seem to understand why the farmer didn't just spray his field to get rid of weeds and bugs. I tried to explain that it was an ORGANIC FARM...and why some people don't like to eat stuff that has been sprayed with poison...They still thought the poison was preferable to manual labor. ( I have to say- I don't eat organic but I can see myself doing it someday...and I understand why some people do.) But overall, they had pretty good attitudes about it all.

The next morning I cooked up some of the potatoes they had picked and made home fries for the girls' breakfast ( and fried some eggs too) and they tasted fairly superior, if I do say so myself. Hmmm- if I had really been crafty, in the true sense of the word, I would have made two batches- one organic, one pesticidal, and doctored the pesticidal ones to taste horrible...Hmmm.

And today I played Spoons and Uno. Doesn't get much better than this. And Friday, I am supposed to go on a field trip to Rye Beach...which reminds me of a story of when I was in my second year of Bibleschool...involving Chad doing a "Chariots of Fire" imitation...but that is a story for another day...

3 comments:

DJ said...

I want to hear the story about Chad!! That sounds like it could produce some laughter on my part :)

And that wonder-under :) Good thing you said right at the first it wasn't undergarments, cause it sure sounds like it, hehehehehee...

Kristi said...

Yeah, I had an immediate picture in my mind of a bunch of girls tearing up old underwear to create a very interesting quilt!

redsoxwinthisyear said...

Yes, do tell this story. I hope it will jiggle my memory so that I can remember it...