Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Yicky Weather and a Question

Doesn't our forecast just make one shudder?

While I am totally grateful that we are not like the eastern provinces who keep getting snow upon snow upon snow, I'm having a difficult time keeping sunny thoughts in my head. When I was young and foolish I'd flee to a tanning bed as a solution but I want to keep my hide supple so refrain from these days. I've always loved having seasons so I don't think I could like living in a place where it was constant unchanging sunshine but at this point I'd love to be able to enjoy a warm climate for even a day or two.

What do YOU do when it's dreary for days on end?

I have another questin for you too.

When I grew up in a large family (6 brothers and 1 sister) our family was not exactly POOR - but awfully close at times. For example one time my father suffered awful burns to one of his legs due to his clothing catching on fire (a spark from a welding torch). He had to rely on workman's compensation for a long stretch with my mom not being able to work on order to help dad and look after us. It was a difficult time. I don't know how they managed to keep food on the table. I don't recall them ever relying on food banks either - they were very proud people.

Well - you can imagine with little food in the first place dinners were "you got what you got" on your plate and you ATE what you got. All of it - and no complaining because it would not have done you any good.

A note aside - our mom was a wonderful cook who managed to cook nutritious food on a budget.

Also, with so many mouths to feed there was no way we were ever allowed to just help ourselves to food. We could not afford to do that! Our mother was British and taught us manners. We would never dream of helping ourselves without asking first.

And that goes double when at someone else's house. I was raised to not ask for things but it was acceptable to ask occaisionally when food was placed out. I would never even THINK about just helping myself and I'd DIE (or be punished) if I ever just went into some one else's cupboards or fridge without an invitation or permission.

I think that to my parents it was a reflection of how they brought us up. And it mostly makes sense to me.

So I'm confessing here that it horrified me when people do this in my home. Honestly I am completely generous and hay, go for the food or candy dish I've placed in front of you. No worry if you need the cream for your tea. No problems there. And if you're close to me I'll be the first to encourage you to "help yourself" to ANYTHING" if we are not strangers. But for me personally the "help yourself" policy is something that comes as a trust issue. It says "you're family or a friend".

Sometimes I feel guilty - I truly struggle with this. I see friends who just throw the doors open on everything without a second thought - and part of me admires that. The other part of me still thinks it's good to teach kids boundaries and manners to ask.

Sigh, this leads to part two - THINGS. My parents would have definately had a problem if we were to visit somewhere and we "touched" peoples things, you know - possessions, ornaments, other kids toys without either being invited to do so or getting permission.

Yet many kids do that now. When this happens I never know how to handle it. I don't MIND if someone is curious about something in my home and if they show an interest I will be the first one to take the item and offer it for examination - but when someone helps themself it irks me.

I think part of WHY I was taught this is because my parents knew if we ever broke something they could never afford to replace it.

So - I'm really stuggling with this issue and sometimes it hinders my friendship because I find myself focussed on this rather than just enjoying company. Part of me resents I even have address this topic - to me, because it's the way I was raised I feel like this is a "no brainer".

So when little Jane or Johny opens my fridge or freezer unbidden and demands "whatcha got?" or grabs a precious ornament in sticky little hands - well it bothers me. Now if they asked first it would be a DELIGHT to show the item or rustle up some victuals.

By the way, it took me months upon months to feel ok to help myself to my mother in laws fridge - and when I finally did it felt like an honour. To me it marked a milestone in our relationship.

So... Now I've had my rant I'd love to know YOUR thoughts on this!

-- Post From My iPhone


  1. yes in the days we were at home ate what was in front of you ..and never go to some ones house and say ugh I won't eat that ...boy you saw dad's eyes ..cut you to the bone ...and touching things better have that person beside you showing you. I hate liver to this day ..cause boy you eat it or you sat there till it was gone ...could take you days but you eat it . I agree that if I say go ahead check out the fridge for cream or an apple or something ..please do ...but it would bug me if some open my fridge and said what you got to eat. I try to make a person be part of my home ..but manners are important. In your home I have always felt welcome and made part of. You and I have shared some awesome times from cooking to yard saling to teaching...thanks for that and for making me part of the family.


  2. Aww.. Aunty Judy you are so sweet :)

  3. Good evening Barb:)
    Your Mom and my Mom would have been very good friends.:) I have two brothers and a sister and my Mom was VERY strict.We were not allowed to just get something to eat without asking. I can't remember opening the fridge without permission.Cause we wouldn't have enough food for the week if we did. We weren't allowed to step off of our property unless we asked...even if it
    connected to ours.:) We never talked back! I learned that the hard way.:) We had to eat every bite on our plates and Mom regrets making us do that cause even today I have a hard time leaving food on my plate.:(
    I think kids should be taught to look and not touch unless given permission. Even then it doesn't mean it won't get broken.:) I am usually pretty free with company helping themselves to the fridge etc once I have had them in my home several times. I want people to feel comfortable in my home. I have had several people come into our home and end up falling asleep. They always say that they feel so comfortable....but I wonder if it's cause we are boring!hehe
    So happy to see you were able to get out and walk.You should have squished that apple!LOL
    As for the winter blues... Mood lighting...and a really good movie with a happy ending or praise music and rejoicing in the Lord.... Emailing me!hehe Think good thoughts! Whatsoever things are lovely...
    Huge hugs!

  4. Oh I loved reading this! I love your blog!
    I have no real opinions on this, other than I can definitely see how manners came out of necessity as children back in the day. I suppose I should say back in my day...I am getting up there. I feel I am pretty good about expecting alot out of my children and would die if they were rude or disrespectful at someones house. Luckily I haven't been mortified...yet! :o)
    Love catching up on your blog, it has been a few days since I read it. I teach 1st grade and have recently had a hernia operation so it is hard to sit upright for long...especially after a long day on my feet!


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