It seems that when growing up I whined a lot about learning new skills. I thought working in the garden was a death sentence. I didn't care much about canning, making bread or anything other than learning how to cook regular 30 minute or less meals (with a few exceptions). I have never had patience to sew. I would rather make something up rather than spend all of the time to learn to read and follow a pattern. If I can use a staple, tape or safety pin - it doesn't need to be stitched.
My mom came to visit last this past week. Usually she is busy the entire time she is here on some sewing project I have come up with. This time however there weren't any sewing projects. Instead we spent a lot of time playing with the kids and going on adventures.
We also worked in the yard. Other than mowing (which I am actually really good at - I guess it is sort of like cleaning) I do not have a lot of skill in the yard. The family that owned the house before us were flower garden nuts! There are multiple flower beds, all of which require a lot of work to maintain. Since we moved in we took out one of the flower beds and last fall we hired the Boy Scout troop to come over and rip out half of the rest of the flower beds. Last year when my mom was visiting she taught me how to clean out the fall debris from the flower beds and mulch. I have since learned (on my own) how to weed and seed the front lawn - it is a work in progress. This week we dug up and replanted a lot of perennial flowers, planted some annual flowers, cut one of the flowerbeds in half, planted grass, pulled and dug up crabgrass, mulched, planted grass seed and planted a large decorative grass. Audrey learned what a "juicy" worm is. Elysse learned how to pick purple flowers - despite our trying to get her to stop. Nathan learned the only thing he likes about gardening is making mud, the rest is too much work. Like I said it is a work in progress and it is a big deal that I can mostly tell what is a flower and what is a weed.
The other thing I was taught was how to make homemade bread. Last year shortly after Audrey and I returned from Jacksonville Nathan wanted to know why I did not make homemade bread like some of his friends' moms. My quick response was that I am always cleaning up after the kids which is why I don't have time to bake bread. Since then I have wanted to make bread. I am decent at following directions but there is something about making bread that makes me feel like I need a show and tell not just a recipe to follow - after all, baking bread is a skill. So, my mom and I found a recipe that looked good for wheat bread. My goal with this is to learn to make bread to replace what I would otherwise buy from the store. Nathan was so impressed that I baked homemade bread. He was actually giddy about it (I guess it is proof that I truly love him). He can't wait to go back to school and have a peanut butter sandwich out of the new bread. After it was baked and sitting on the cutting board Nathan would come up and break off pieces - so excited. This morning he had cinnamon toast and a peanut butter sandwich with the fresh bread. He just loved it. My mom left yesterday and Nathan wanted to be sure I had the "map" so I can make it even when grandma isn't here!
To explain the title: it just seems that I am learning all of these skills about 10 years later than I should have. It wasn't a lack of my mom's skill or encouragement. She is an amazing homemaker and I could have and should have learned so much more from her than I did when I was growing up. She bakes, cans, sews, gardens and so much more. I must admit that I am interested in and will grow some of these skills but the sewing thing just doesn't interest me...perhaps ten years from now...