Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Woman Before Me

This post was supposed to have a picture of my sweet little girl and her corn shuck doll. Apparently the corn shuck doll went to pre-school and stayed there..stay tuned for pictures should she be found..the corn shuck doll that is...not the 4 year old.

Yesterday was one of those days. The baby learned to climb the stairs and fall back down them (twice.) My four year old decided to practice her scissor skills creating the blizzard of September 2011 in my dining room. My 2nd Grader is practicing the piano, practicing his spelling words, practicing his vocabulary words while practicing his outside voice…inside.

Just another day at the Schlueter household, except that there was 9 pounds of hamburger to be browned for the school dinner the next day, material to be ordered for Sunday’s youth group, dinner due to the field and a landscaper to be contacted to finish the latest project on Main Street. While cleaning the dog’s contribution to the evening off the carpet, I had a thought….wouldn’t it be nice to live in a community that didn’t need me so much? A community where someone else could brown hamburger, teach youth or attend city council meetings?

Entertaining these thoughts, I headed to the field with supper.  As I arrived at the bin site, I could feel my brow unfurrow and my shoulders relax. I followed the kids out to the field where the stocks were newly shorn. Searching for the perfect shuck, I began to show Lizzie and Aaron the art of corn shuck doll making…..a skill I had learned some 20 years before from my Grandmother.

On the drive back into town, I began to remember the reason why youth group lessons and city council meetings are so important to me. I do them because just like that corn shuck doll there are some things worth passing to the next generation.  So forgive me this post as it is a little about keeping me motivated and a lot about those women before me.

Church Ladies: You said it was ok when I forgot a change of clothes on Baptism day (we dunk). You taught me about gossip when you wore a brown wig to GAs and asked me the following week who I told that you dyed your hair. You gave me handmade Christmas ornaments as a child and wedding showers and casseroles as an adult. You showed me I mattered.

School Moms:  You organized a haunted house to raise money when our school was failing and sold napkin after napkin. You organized pep rallies and helped with chemistry. You were proud when we won and even prouder when we accepted defeat graciously. You knew just when to be our advocate and when to back off and let us made our own decisions.

4-H Leader: Mud boots and craft projects, personal appearance day and demonstrations, a jack of all trades-that is what a 4-H Leader is all about. When I think about the patience it took to “teach”, I am in awe.  It was never glamorous work, but the practical skills you taught are priceless.

Civic Leaders: Halloween parades, reading groups, swimming lessons and rodeos, you put the “quality” in life in small towns. If there is a need, you fill it often without recognition and always without pay. Your motivation is your cause and your passion abounds.

Some communities are hinged together by threads thin and delicate, easily torn by a disregard for duty, a sense of anonymity and “freedom” from being needed.  In my town, the ties that bind are strong. Just as I am bound by the generation before me, I bind the generation after me.

 Just as I received from the women before me so shall I give.

1 comment:

  1. Wow Ann. I finally took the time to sit down and read this (rusty has left if up on his computre for me:) Beautifully written and bountiful thoughts of gratitude. Perfect for the harvest season adnd the importance of planting that occurs throughout all of the lives we impact. Thanks for sharing. Carla