Thursday, November 10, 2005

Sometimes Decorating Books Make Me Laugh, Sometimes they Make Me Mad

I get at least two book a week out of the library full of glossy dreamy photos of carefully aged houses. Words like VINTAGE and SHABBY and no surprise, COUNTRY. I really love looking at these books because I love old stuff. I got a real beaut yesterday. It's even got a photo of a Pug on a sofa draped with an old quilt, how sweet is that? The book is gorgeous. But it's totally, unmistakeably, shamelessly & blissfully ignorantly OUT TO LUNCH.

Let me risk getting in some kind of obscure trouble by repeating this, cuz you gotta read this. It's such a truckload of BS.

"Notice the happiness of a visit to the country. Friends know they will spend peaceful hourse relaxing in front of a crackling fire, sink into a comfortable old sofa, around a pine table waiting to savor a delicious meal, or outside in the shade of a arbor."

What is that all about?? Last time I visited my friends who live out in the country, it was freezing rain, we stayed for an hour to pick up the kennel they were loaning us, and I ended up out in the paddock helping load up the lumber for the shelter into the truck and covering it with a tarp. Yes they had a fire going on but it was more like a roaring fire since they'd been out in the horrible weather trying to get this shelter built for their horses and they were frozen. There was no time to languish in the cozy living room while knitting, because there are two jobs to go to during the week and they had only one weekend to do their work around home. That, my friends, is reality, not just of life in the country, but life. You can-and should-slow the pace of your life, but sometimes you've got to get that shelter built before the snow flies.

I grew up with two Mennonite grandmothers who worked their tails off. They raised kids, helped with the farm, cooked, and still did all the embroidery and quilting and all that fun quaint stuff. The only way I figure they did it is the absence of modern burdens: Homework and TV. Back in the 50's apparently kids didn't get as much homework as now. (Oddly enough there are plenty of smart people hitting their 60s now, but plenty of stupid people in their 20s. Hmm) Besides, if you had 4 to 6 kids they were on their own with that stuff. One of my Grandmas didn't even have electricity, so there was simply no time for time wasters.

My parents still live the slow pace country life, but they both have to work for a living. Wouldn't my Mom just love to relax under the romantic veil of a simple length of vintage lace swung gently over a tree branch? Well no, because my Dad's coming through with the lawn tractor soon. Such is life in the country.

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