Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gee, Granola!

Today we talk about the letter G. As in granola. Can you say, granola, class? Luckily, my mother is pretty thick skinned. She does not take life or herself too seriously. More importantly she does not take ME too seriously! Even when I make fun of her. Or my childhood. Or her, during my childhood. So when I say I do not want to grow up to be my mother, it is done with my tongue in my cheek. It is just that we try so hard to snip those apron strings, until we finally make peace with the notion that we have, indeed, become our parents.
The problem is that many of us grow up with misconceptions about our parents. Because we are looking at Mom and Dad through the eyes of a child or adolescent, our judgments of them are not always accurate. Sometimes when we look back on our childhood as adults however, we find that we are much more forgiving of our parents' mishaps and follies. This however, is NOT one of those times!
I was raised in the 1970's and 80's by comparatively young parents, they themselves products of the counterculture of the 1960's. Even at a young age, and certainly as a teen, I noticed that my parents were a bit different than my friends' parents. It was embarrassing and I did not like to admit it, but we were hippies.
We made our own all-natural soap and granola from scratch, often abstained from meat, instead making entire meals from lettuce. We were good stewards of the earth in composting our leftovers, and frequented the secondhand stores as to make good use of existing abundance. To top it off we basically lived in a commune. My family, my aunt and uncle (and two cousins), my uncle and aunt (and two cousins) and my grandfather all lived on one street with only Mr. Toy, the mailman, between our four houses. There were 7 cousins and we basically did everything together using all four houses as our own. At bedtime the grown ups would open the doors and as soon as the right number of children were in the house they tucked them in and kissed them goodnight. It didn't really matter if it was the correct children for that house! Now, with a family of my own, I was carrying on these time-honored hippie traditions. Happily haunting thrift stores, grinding my own wheat and keeping backyard chickens...Until...
During a family gathering last summer, I remarked at how funny it is that no matter how hard we try to not become our parents, the inevitable happens. At forty, I had to face the fact that I, like my mother before me, was a bit of a hippie. I had almost made peace with the idea when Mom said something that dispelled all my delusions about my Bohemian, free-spirited, nature-loving, do-no-harm upbringing and attitude, "We weren't hippies, Sweetheart, we were just poor". NOW she tells me. "Hey, someone turn down that Dead's time for yoga."
Quote of the Day: "You're either on the bus or off the bus." ~ Ken Kesey


  1. Being a hippie is cool-that's actually what I'm trying to be when I grow up, although I think my generations are called "hipsters" (oh yes, we're that cool) well, or kind of hipsters...we just like music, art and thrift store shopping-just look at my living room! And I'm learning to grind my own wheat and someday when we own some sort of land I totally want chickens (just like 3 of them though)...I'll be calling you for chicken advice.
    And! I need cleaning products recipes from you. We're putting together a food storage cookbook in our ward and I would like to include those (we want to be clean during the apocalypse) and I wanted them anyway because I already love baking soda and vinegar for cleaning...
    This comment has gotten a bit long...oh well. I love reading your blog!!

  2. Wow! that sounds just like my parents. My parents were health nuts especially my mom but I'm sure all that homemade food and Goodwill shopping helped with the budget. It's funny I never felt needy or without. Now I love shopping at secondhand stores and grinding my wheat for fresh bread.

  3. Nothing clever or astute, but I just wanted to let you know I loved this post. Thanks for the smile today!

  4. You lived my childhood! I'd wake up many mornings to the sound of the wheat grinder, and know we were having cracked wheat for breakfast. We always had a vegetable garden, my mom made bread and granola, and sewed our clothes and shopped at thrift stores. We had chickens and pigs for awhile. Picked watercress and asparagus on the canal banks. But yeah, not hippies at all. Just young and poor, lol. Not a bad way to grow up, really...

  5. I've become my mother, too. The funny how yesteryears "we're just too poor to do otherwise" is today's "in thing". (Please tell me the grinding wheat and such is the "in thing" so I can continue to tell myself I'm cool).

  6. Hahahahaha! If I had had kids, they'd probably have felt the same way about me, as they were growing up. But, I don't consider myself a hippie. :-)

  7. This cracked me up. I was raised similarly (without all the family on our street) and I recently realized it had much more to do with the budget than it did any sort of hippie-ishness.

    And we won't even talk about all the other ways in which I have become my mother. And even my dad...

  8. You were Green before it was cool.