Friday, December 14, 2007

FHA



When I was in High School I was the leader of a small and no so mighty army. Our tasks were to redecorate the Home Economics building and put on a fashion show (all showing pieces we made ourselves). We baked cookies for nursing homes and attended conferences learning things I no longer remember.

We were the Future Homemakers of America and I was the President and Founder of the branch at our High School.

Are you surprised?

I decided to take sewing class my sophomore year and I fell in love both with sewing and with the teacher, Mrs. Cleveland. What a sweetheart. She used to drive motorcycles and could explain the finer points of fabric grain. So when she pitched the idea of having an FHA branch I was all for it. It just made sense to me.

If you met my mother, or even walked through her home, you might understand why I was drawn to these things. My mother makes my homemaking look like I am playing house. She is still (for now at least) the master. Her dinners are colorful and well balanced. Her couches are welcoming with handmade pillows and the blankets thrown over the arm of the couch are meant for snuggling under. She grows her own herbs, has a library of cookbooks that she needs several bookcases for and well, she made my wedding dress. My guess is that I was drawn to these things because she was. She modeled that it can be done and you can actually enjoy doing it. Not only that, but she showed me that these are honorable things to do. Despite what our culture says.

I wrote a letter to a friend during those days telling her of my involvement with FHA and she wrote back aghast. Claiming I was encouraging that women be forced back into the home, behind a hot stove, slaving for their families. I wrote back and told her that telling women they need to work outside the home is just as oppressive as saying they cannot. I was a homemaking whipper-snapper.

Now I understand a little more. I understand that I am drawn to this. I love it. I find creativity, fulfillment and stimulation from my homemaking efforts. But that doesn't mean everyone does. And of course, there are days when I do not either. There are days I want to pretend that my gifts are elsewhere and I avoid the dirty bathroom and the sink of dishes. Those days we order take-out.

Funny, because yesterday I felt like a bad homemaker. Did you see my post yesterday? It was an explosion of homemaking. But none of it was for my family. We scraped together pancakes for dinner and I spent the evening shewing my boys away from the boxes of cookies. So today I am making up for it. I have more cookie dough chilling in the fridge and I just finished these pumpkin rolls.

I guess even homemakers can lose sight of what is important.
Even when you are staring it in the face all day.

5 comments:

thedanceofthegates said...

Righteous anger doesn't make many inroads, does it? Too bad. It's so easy.

Were there any boys in your club/class?

Seeking La Loba said...

Your last statement made me think,
"That's the difference between Martha Stewart and Robyn's model of homemaking." It's not just for the perfection, or for the admiration of others. It's making the home beautiful and comfortable and loving FOR people.
I guess I'm being pretty harsh on Martha Stewart, but she does give off that vibe.

Robyn said...

Wow, Kirsten! Thanks! Sometimes I worry that I focus too much on the show. Because, well, I love the show. But, I do love the people too!

Susan said...

Robyn,

Kirsten's comment made me think about this post from one of my favorite bloggers. It was a timely reminder for me, maybe you'll like it, too:
http://ebeth.typepad.com/reallearning/2007/12/from-the-archiv.html

Susan said...

Hmm . . . I dont' know how to do a real link in a comment and I dont' think the whole thing went through. The title of the post is "Entertaining Angels" and its a couple weeks back if you want to read it.