Tag Archives: housekeepers

Flights of Fancy

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Although I occasionally succumb to temporary flights of fancy, most people will tell you
that I am very grounded and steady. I would agree with that description and even though
every once in a while I would like to be able to indulge in some really far out daydreaming,
I very rarely give in to the temptation.

One of the reasons, the major one probably, that I became the one person that could be
counted on to behave as expected is that I don’t enjoy the feeling of insecurity and chaos
that stems when things are not done as they should be. Waking up in the morning in my
childhood home with Mom and Dad going off to work and siblings getting ready for school
with all that it entailed ingrained in me that one of the most important people in the house-
hold was the one that got paid the least and who was recognized rarely. I mean the “maid”.

When I was a young child my parents were able to afford to have two housekeepers because
in my third-world country, labor was cheap. No one gives credit to how smoothly the home
operates when you have someone taking care of the necessary but mundane tasks like
washing dishes, cleaning toilets, sweeping, mopping, making beds, doing laundry, and
ironing! Those were the days!

These days with our children grown up and such, it is easier to keep the house a little more
picked up and ready for company and I am ever grateful for the once-a-week helper who
keeps my floors sparkling. I know we overpay her (in comparison to what our neighbors pay)
but she is content and grateful to have an honest job that provides the little extras for her
family’s budget.

Mondays are tough for me. I do laundry, wash my thick, curly, long hair, and every other week,
I attend a meeting in the late afternoon because I am part of a planning board. Every day, I
say a few verses (prayers, you might say) and get on with my day, but Mondays are particularly
busy and every so often, I ask myself why I haven’t given everything up and just stay inside the
house all week doing what I want: write! Then a little part of me which has a big voice reminds
me that we are all part of one community, that I would not be able to write nearly as well or
about as many subjects with authority if it weren’t for the fact that I am inextricably joined to
a thriving community.

So for today, which is meeting day, I have done my hair, my laundry and will do a little more
writing, practice my guitar chords, and get ready to go.

Live another good day.

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An idyllic beginning

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happy-and-free-child

Whenever I think about my early childhood, say to about age 6, I remember it as
being idyllic. My parents had household help, my personality was such that I was
not scolded or punished often and I remember being able to play as much as I wanted.

The days of being bullied by an older sister (whom I think about often) had not
yet materialized because the housekeeper made sure that didn’t happen and I can
remember sitting on the grass on a sunny day eating a freshly peeled orange with
just the right amount of salt to make it taste even yummier! I can feel the sun
on my face as I sit with no important thoughts of tasks to be undertaken.

Everything changed when we went to live in New York, far away from family and
friends and certainly in no economical shape to be hiring housekeepers to take care
of us or household chores. Very quickly my life changed from one of being pampered
to being a latchkey kid with lots of responsibilities at a young age. I look upon
my childhood with a mixture of anxiety and nostalgia, blaming no one really but
hoping that one day I can write all these feelings and stories in a book that will
be worthwhile reading for my now-adult children.