Friday, April 30, 2010
Between the Joneses and the Sanfords
On my mother's side of the family, there are people that own a junkyard. I have 5 brothers and growing up, all of them (as well as my dad) worked there at one time or another. My uncles probably didn't mean for the junk to encroach into their dwelling's area, but hey- what are you gonna to do. I wonder if my Grandma ever went outside and said, "Hey! Clean up all this junk!"
At home there were always cars being worked on too. I thought all men spent their weekends laying under or leaning over a vehicle. Furthermore, people in our area (I can't speak for rural people everywhere) dumped junk anywhere they wanted. You'd just be walking along on a nice day with your stick and homemade bow and arrows, and find a washer in the middle of the woods. I sort of also thought the junkyard thing was normal and common, actually, because there was a show called Sanford and Son on TV then about a father and son team in the junk business. We were like the extended relations of the white Sanfords.
Mom was born at the end of the depression period and (everyone knows what I am going to say next) she even saved Cool Whip bowls. The Cool Whip bowl saving practice is legendary among anyone with parents my parents' age. I want to say this next sentence very carefully because I never want to dishonor mom.... our home was clean and orderly but it was very.... shall we say... full. People just didn't throw things away then because they knew they could find a use for them later on. Now this would be considered very chic because it would fall into the category of "reduce, reuse, recycle." Needless to say the resources in mom's purse were extensive.
When I got out into society I discovered the Sanfords weren't typical at all, it was some family called the Joneses. I never met the family that was the original Joneses but they must have been very serious about their stuff for people to still be trying to keep up with them. I do, though, personally know people... many, many people... who have made the Joneses look like pansy-faced sissies.
How fitting then that I left the Sanfords and found the Joneses, then left the Joneses and moved into a house that was owned by a couple who surely got the Sanfords and the Joneses mixed up, and were trying to keep up with the former not the latter. Needless to say, we have some cleaning up to do.
I once thought of writing a book about the psychology of your surroundings. Order and simplicity leads to peace and calmness. The opposite leads to a woman whose prayer life has increased immensely simply because most days, I only get the dishes done; and the Lord knows I need a supernatural cleaning. Amen.