25 November 2008

channeling wasel and vela

today i meant business. so much so i havent a single picture to illustrate that point so paint a picture in your mind will ya.

i put on my apron and it stayed on all day. that should tell you something. (ok, i guess i have a picture of my apron)

when i was younger my dad would tell us stories about two strong women: his mother, vela washburn hawkins and his grandmother, wasel amelia black washburn. these ladies didnt fuss. they didnt sit around feeling depressed or sorry for themselves. they didnt have a chance because they rolled up their sleeves and got to work.

he said most days, growing up on the church ranch in florida (my grandpa managed it for the lds church) he would come home from school to see all the clothes washed, pressed and hanging up, smell the fresh baked bread, see the sparkling clean house, the babies playing around the porch, and see his mother fanning herself from a hard days work. she fed neighbors, she managed seven children (i think i have that right), she helped those around her, she taught her kids to "be the best one there" (and that isnt a competitive phrase... it's a moral one), she encouraged them all to play instruments and sing, all of them married in the temple, all who could served missions, all have their education, all are outstanding. she learned this from her mother, wasel, who did the same. they both fed herds of people on a daily basis, cleaned little hands and faces, and instructed with stern love and wisdom.

almost fifty years later, ambrose and i got home from a day of fun at preschool, we played some more, we ate lunch, we cleaned up, then we read books and ambrose was down for a nap... I HAD TWO HOURS TO GET IT ALL DONE! i channeled great grandma wasel and grandma vela, put on my apron and got to work.
the day is done. i am exhausted. the house is sparkling clean, the laundry is done, neatly folded and put away, the dishes are done, you could eat off my floor, the baby is fed, clean and ready for bed soon, and i didnt get it perfect- but i made wasel's heavenly biscuits. you family members reading this know what i am talking about. it was my first time, i was nervous, i know how to do better next time, but they are pretty dang good.

i dont think i will have a day like this everyday. i dont live on a ranch in the fifties, i dont have seven kids, and i have a dishwasher (thank heavens). but today i felt connected to my grandma and great-grandma and i think there is something to be said for homemaking and picking real life heroes to pattern your life after. i am a 24 year old mother and housewife for crying out loud. if i cant find a realistic role model then i'm left feeling out of place and strange in a world where i am a novelty. according to most standards i should be chasing my wildest dreams around the world in a mess of insecure expereinces and emotions... figuring myself out.

today i am thankful for wasel washburn and vela hawkins. they are my past and they help me feel right about my present and ready for the future.

i hope everyone can find a realistic and worthy role model in their lives and channel them as they navigate their way through the day to day. it made me feel good today. you deserve to feel good too!


Sofia Deyanira said...

HUZZAH for WASEL and VELA! And my hardworking ancestors too! This story just changed my life!

Thank you, I couldn't have heard it at a better time. I have a big heart for the wonderful work that these women have done and without complaining.

This uplifts me. Thank you Stephanie.

Meg and Corbin said...

I love your grandmas names! If you are having a girl, you should consider them, at least for a middle name. Also love your posts, they are all so well written. I am sad that you can not come to craft day tomorrow, hopefully next time!

Roeckers said...

I really though I was the only one that did this! I can't tell you how many times a story about a particular ancestor has changed my behavior for the better!

Yahoo! I'm not the only one.

Also these are stories on your dad's side, and so I've never heard them before. It's amazing how many great and awesome people we have in our family lines!


Carrie said...

Wow. That was awesome. My ancestors were busy having strokes before thirty and beating their children so i think i'm going to adopt yours, okay? I feel so encouraged to get off the computer (for the love!), and get some work done today. Which is good because I've got pies to bake!

Adam and Brittany Greene said...

8 kids steph... dave, john, virginia, dad, patty, kris, suzanne, and matt.... don't slight her. :) and i am going to do the recipe thing, just after next weekend. i will include the enchilada easy one and if you think of any others let me know.

echo said...

so true. when i have domestic days it helps to think of my grandma daryl. we are so fortunate to have women like this to look up to and to be our examples.

Our Family said...

Yes they are great women!! That is why we named our sweet little one Vela Amelia. Amelia of course is Wasels middle name! She is bound to grow up and be amazing with that name!

Melissa said...

awesome! and good job and I love their names

liko said...

sounds like a busy day, indeed. don't you just admire the women of the past?? constantly busy cooking or cleaning or making something. no distractions of today. no needing to worry about making money.but having the BIG job of maintaining the household and being a wife and mother. and hopefully be content with that. the most important job in the world.

snbjork said...

Thanks for sharing the stories about the incredible women in your family. Way to be productive! Do you wanna channel some of that energy my way? Do you think it'll reach all the way over to Alabama?

Happy Thanksgiving! =)

Matti said...

Enjoyed your comment. Eden just got up from her nap, but I am going to make-believe I am Wasel and Vela and get my house in order before Jonathon gets home. Thanks Steph! As always, another great post!

melissa said...

oh very lovely. and thanks for liking your apron! you may need another one. (one with a top.)

In.A.Nutshell said...

love the apron! and also, i love love LOVE this post. i have thought of it several times already, because when i complain about life i always think back to the days before fridges, oven, washing machines, vacuums, tylenol, etc. etc. etc. and think, "i really need to buck up."

so woot!woot! to wasel and vela. may i someday be somewhat like them.

kimball said...

You are such a Vela.