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Duh--I didn't realize that young woman I meet who don't know how to cook never took Home Economics in school. I wonder how long it's been missing from the curriculum? Probably the same length of time boys haven't been taking shop. The author of the piece makes a very good case for re-introducing the subject, only this time boys undoubtedly would be welcome. I know there are young woman and men who paid attention to their parents teachings, but from what I hear all the time--not enough.

If it weren't for Home Ec, I'm sure I never would have learned to sew. I can still recall making my very first A-line skirt out of blue kettlecloth. There was no waistband, only facing, and a zipper. My teacher claimed I'd never learn--she was wrong. I had a STRONG desire for new clothing in those days which in a family of six children were hard to come by. Carol and Nancy followed my example by becoming excellent seamstresses--much better than me.

Although our mother owned a terrific sewing machine, it mostly went unused because she hated sewing. As I recall she said it made her nervous. Thus, home ec was invaluable to me. Cooking, on the other hand, was something my mother knew how to do, and do well. You wouldn't know it sometimes because just as soon as we were capable, the cooking duties were shifted to the girls, beginning with Maureen who carried the burden of feeding our family long before she should have. Because she moved out when I was thirteen, I came up to bat next. As far as the younger girls are concerned, I don't think it was quite so bad.

The previous paragraph may sound a bit harsh, however, I sure learned how to make quantities of food, a skill which served me well while I had a houseful of boys. Because I carried the idea with me that I'd been forced to do so much at a young age, I erred on the other side, never making the boys do things I could. Furthermore, Bruce did the same. That said, we did teach them how to cook, clean, do laundry, take care of a lawn, manage money...that sort of thing. We just didn't use them as "slave" labor.

It would be easier to hold a grudge against my parents, however, I choose not to. Ever the eternal optimist, I try to focus on the good they instilled with their mostly non-existent parenting skills. It made me responsible, focused, and competent at a good number of things. As well, we had food, and mostly plenty of it, something that many people can not say, especially these days.

Finally, while still on the subject of home economics, I can say with confidence that I have used what I learned in those classes far more than what I learned in algebra! Bring it on for the next generation.

Bruce left just a bit ago for the airport. He was not thrilled because he just concluded an 11 day stint, mostly working from home. Because he was able to get so much done at home without the distraction of traveling and co-workers, he had time to do the yard on Saturday while I was at the market. My, the yard looks very nice despite the ongoing heat. Loafing around at home with Baxter on Sunday was a rare treat. Of course, he still worked as a "roadie" but other than those few hours, he mostly relaxed. Yesterday, we took a little road trip.

Before we talk about that, I'll tell you I still haven't heard anything, negative or positive. Maybe today? The markets surprised me both days--very nice sales. Between the two there were 28. While setting up on Sunday a couple stopped for a moment, saying how great something would look in their home. Claiming they would be back, both Bruce and I were skeptical because we've heard that before. Call me shocked when they returned after Bruce left, buying both a large canvas and two small ones. They even told me to keep the change! If that weren't enough, later in the day, another young man did the same, giving me $60 for a $50 purchase. Can you believe that? Another bonus was the temperature was not so blistering. I called it a "teaser" weekend because you and I both know we are still in for a month of hot weather. Soon, very soon, it will get cooler.....

Predictions of 60% rain chance did not keep us from heading out of the driveway just after 7 on Labor Day. Heading up towards Ocala, we stopped in Eustis at a Huddle House for delicious breakfast. Bruce said I made the short order cooks day when I told him I enjoyed watching him juggle the orders while we were eating at the counter. Onwards....

Our plan was to visit Silver Springs, home of the famous glass bottomed boats. Claiming that no amount of begging his parents yielded a trip there, he wanted to make up for that earlier denial. After our visit he claimed he was still miffed that he'd not been able to visit during it's heyday. More on that momentarily...

For a long time Bruce has wondered about the Rodman Dam, part of an aborted attempt to construct a cross Florida barge canal system. Because it was only 15 miles up the road from our turn off to SS, we went. Now he's seen it and so have you.
Bruce joined others for a few casts:
Some readers may be unfamiliar with the knobs jutting out of the land in the foreground. Cypress knees. Funny name, but that's what they are called. 

Crisscrossing the forest, we made our way to Silver Springs. Bruce does not like me to take his picture nearly as much I as I'd like to. Here's his idea of a shot!
Originally, we'd planned to do the glass bottomed boats, however, the lines were long so we skipped it. I'm glad the lines were long, because from the condition of the park, they can use all the revenue that comes their way. The highlights were actually seeing some great animals. I'm crazy for this bird,
Remarkable creatures! Bruce was thrilled with both the giraffe,
and the cougars, which we learned are often called either pumas or mountain lions.
You should have seen their tails--so long! Because we were there in the middle of the day, mostly they were resting, however, at one point the one whose face you see began licking the other one. So cute.

There were plenty of alligators including this albino alligator.
Too bad my striped shirt is reflected in the glass! In this space you've seen "white alligators" before, which if you'll recall have a blue eye. These had what you traditionally think of when you think albino--pink.

A gigantic rainstorm came along, passing as quickly as it came. Leaving, we moseyed home the long way, enjoying our time together and looking forward to returning to our comfortable home. Recently I received a thank you card for a lunch I prepared for my friend Cindy. I smiled when I read that she thought our home was not only lovely, but relaxing as well. Nice.

*a note to readers--please forgive any errors, I need to eat and NOW.


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