“Don’ Throw the Baby Out With the Bath Water!”

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It finally rained -and that changed everything.  After weeks of blistering heat that wilted flowers and spirits, a cool wind blew and then the rain fell.  That was on Tuesday . . . now almost a week ago.

On Wednesday, the realtor came.  I will tell you that every room fairly sparkled and not a single cobweb was in sight.  Even the dogs were bathed!  The meeting was all business  and I could tell, the realtor was thinking hard about how I should proceed.  The big question is , should I spend money on the house and hope to get it back? or should I sell as it is, and hope I sell it  soon.  The realtor left , wanting to consider the facts.  Apparently clean dogs, do not make a difference at all.

In a few hours, I was on that very familiar stretch of highway, to Elizabeth City.  

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Since my arrival, there has been a whirlwind of an agenda.  I declare I am at the “house  that never sleeps”.  One day, we cooked a supper for Wills’ Uncle Larry and his aunt Mary Ruth.  Of course, we also cooked for ourselves and Miss Thelma.  Uncle Larry has a huge farm, and I must say, that when we went to deliver the food, I felt right at home.  In the yard were apple trees and grapevines,  There was a pasture of cows, with two grandsons,  there working.  There was a litter of very young kittens in the yard. . . and there was a tremendous sky overhead.  I understand this kind of beautiful. I surveyed the landscape and all sorts of memories flooded in.  I half expected “Pop” to appear from around one of the barns.    

We had a nice visit.  Jenny and I listened to the story of how they met, and how they were not allowed to date for a while.  When at last that ban was lifted, they were married within about six months .   That happened fifty years ago and so they do live “Happily, ever after”

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With the weather, remaining pleasant, I took the girls on a stroll one day.  Jenny has a double stroller, so both girls ride.  The day we went out, I had high expectations, to walk the whole course along the river.  It was a lovely day, after all and besides I had done so countless times, with Lyla.  We stopped to watch some porpoises in the laughing river.  That was a sweet surprise.  We stopped under a pine and smelled “Christmas” and  later, we watched about a half dozen turtles sunning on an old log, by the little bridge.  We had traipsed all the way to the furthest edge of the village,  which had seemed manageable, but the thought of walking all the way back . . .well, that seemed daunting.  A double stroller, is not for the faint of heart.  Still, we struck off in high spirits.  Lyla identified pine trees all along the way.  Brynn watched some friendly squirrels and the river rolled  by, all the while, like a lullaby sung with a hushed voice. Before I knew it, we were approaching the shady lane, where the lilies grow, that runs along the side of Jennys’ house.

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On Saturday, we went to the “Farmers’ Market”.  I went straight away to the lady that makes soaps.  This is where I bought the “dish washing” bar soap.  I continue to promote this, as the soap has pleased me in every way – and I am far from a light weight in the kitchen.  Whether I have fried pork chops, made a pan of biscuits or a pitcher of peach tea . . .the soap works.  I was pleased, my new friend had shampoo bars , too.  I have been using shampoo bars  for a year, and so I decided to try hers’.  It is a pleasure to find, that this bar is my favorite. . . and once again, it doesn’t come in plastic.  I know, such things are but a minute dent in the enormous problem of plastic, in this world, but it is what I can do – and that comforts me.

One day, we had an almost fancy luncheon.  Aunt J and two of her best friends came.  It was a lovely affair altogether .  The table was set with Miss Claudias’ beloved dishes, which touched Aunt J.  Lyla played her violin and recited poetry, she minded her manners, but said she was “too young, to eat such food”.   We had a wonderful visit and it did me good to see Aunt J smiling with her best friends.  She was “in good company” – and it made a difference.

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Modern living does afford so many conveniences.  Just in my lifetime, few things remain as they were.  Technology changed life and continues to do so.  Many things are better, many things are easier, yet there are some remnants  of  the yester years untouched  and unrivaled by modern progress.  My elders used to say “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”.  I don’t suppose many folks say that anymore-or can make “heads nor tails” of its’ meaning, for we do not even bathe our babies as they did, with a large washtub in the kitchen sink.  After the bath, the tub was emptied out of the back door, hence the saying.  We ought to take great care , not to lose the most precious things in our haste.  

Now let me admit, that I have little hurry in me.  I never have.  I did not grow up in a mad rush, for I played well past the age children do now.  My parents did not push adult issues on any of us – and I remain grateful for that, now decades later.

I thought of this when I listened to the love story of Aunt Mary Ruth and Uncle Larry -and again when I saw the “ties that bind” with Aunt J and her friends.   . . and as I rocked Brynn to sleep and felt her against me . . . when I watch Lyla dancing around the willow . . .and when I peel apples.   Some  joy remains    -ageless – and is not improved upon.  

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P.S.  Here is the link to the lady that makes lovely soaps – and does not use plastic!  “loveandlightning.patternbyetsy.com

33 thoughts on ““Don’ Throw the Baby Out With the Bath Water!”

  1. I will find out if your soap lady sends to France!
    My discovery of the year is solid salt deodorant. I really didn’t believe that rubbing a stick of rock salt under your arms would work, but it does! The salt kills all the bacteria that causes odour. I feel such an idiot that I have bought roll on and spray deodorant for all these years and I have even converted my large, hairy husband to the plastic free, environmentally friendly salt deodorant . Who said you cant teach an old dog new tricks?

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  2. Aren’t soap friends good to have around. I have one ,no two, over here and it really does make a difference.
    I do hope the ‘land for sale’ lady has the right answer. It is time for you to settle in ,in a new rabbit patch. Winter is coming,,,slowly but surely it will get here and I am thankful because it has been a awfully hot Summer. School starts this next Thursday and with my dealings with my parents I have missed being a Bebe .Time just gets away doesn’t it. Love you dear Rabbit…take care

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  3. There is not much better than rocking a grandbaby. It really brings a person back to what matters. My parents did not hurry us into adulthood either and I am also grateful. I think it helps me retain a sense of wonder at the possibilities.
    I am going to have to check out your soap lady! My daughter in law’s mom makes soap and often shares with me. I share my dried stinging nettle with her so we are both happy!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love that you “smelled Christmas” with your grandbabies. I wish I didn’t have “hurry” in me…alas I fight this all the time and in the season of young children and my husband working long hours, I feel often rushed. However, I’m trying to give my children space and home schooling does give us “more” time, somehow, for just being.

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  5. “Too young to eat such food” made me laugh out loud. I, too, wish I didn’t have hurry in me. I suppose it’s a matter of temperament. And upbringing? My culture is Franco-American, and dang what a busy, working culture it is. Fortunately, the Francos also know how to have fun or else they would be a real drag. Finally, those shampoo and dish washing bars piqued my interest. Someday, I will make the jump. Don’t know why I’m dawdling.

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  6. Thank goodness you got some rain! I have been “smelling Christmas” too, at our cottage where sunshine warms granite and makes diamonds on the lake, and the scent of pines drifts on the lazy air. Let’s hope your realtor comes up with a solid, successful plan!

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  7. My best friend who now exists in the Better Place, used to say to me all the time, “Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.” I was eager beaver in those days and she would also tell me patience was not my strong point. It is today. (smile) I still to this day use her saying. Cleaning …. Doing that today or at least I’m gonna do as much as I can. Rain …. we too have been in a drought and just today .5 of an inch of rain fell, less then what we need but more is supposedly on its way. I’ve been so busy watering my gardens. Loved your journaling, dear friend, on how you make extraordinary in every day. That is a Gift. We live in such a fast paced world to the which I am actively doing all I can to slow down so I don’t miss out on life itself. I feel such Peace from you every time I am here and for this I am so thankful. What a wonderful post. Bless you!! 💖💖💖

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    1. Thank you and there really is something beautiful in everyday. When my husband died-so very young, well I remember being angry that the day was beautiful! Now I see beauty as a gift and a grace to help us. Wishing you a beautiful August – and rain. thank you so much

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  8. I hope the realtor gives you some good advice about selling your home, Michele! And I agree totally about the changes technology has brought. Most of it is for the good, but we do need to hang on to some of the slower, older ways of doing things, because we need them for our emotional well-being. Not everything is about being faster and easier…you were lucky that your parents raised you the way they did!

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  9. I played with my (back in the day all-metal) Tonka trucks in the sandpile until I must have been thirteen or better. I always thought I was just immature- or odd.

    As you observe, technology and modernity have had no affect on holding grandchildren and gathering those we love around a table.
    Well, I suppose we can text the invitations now…

    Paz

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