I make stuff. All the stuff. I love to bake: cookies, cakes, cupcakes, muffins…yummy! I love to cook. Pasta in 30 minutes? No problem! Spend all day in the kitchen for one meal? Love to, thanks. I knit. I crochet. I sew. I craft. Why buy something, when I can make it better? Okay, maybe not better. But at least to my preferences.
I blame my mother. And her mother. And her sisters. It’s all their fault.
I’m sure the fact that she had 9 kids, and lived in the middle of nowhere (literally), and not a lot of money was the main reason Gran made everything. The garden was huge, so she could can and store enough goods to get through the winter. She knit and sewed to keep everyone warm and clothed. And there was no such thing as ready to eat meals at the grocery store, or pizza delivery.
She passed these skills to all her children, not just her daughters. I was fortunate that my mom stayed home with us until my youngest brother was in school. So, for 12 years, I got to come home to fresh baked cookies, or bread. When she did go back to work, it was to take over at the local post office. Her hours were the same as our school hours. So she was still always home when we got off the bus.
And I honestly can’t count the number of times I told her, as I was going to bed, that I needed this costume, or that mouse, or, oh, yeah, the bake sale is tomorrow. It didn’t matter what it was, I always had it by breakfast the next morning. She was amazing!
I remember afternoons where my mom, my aunt and my grandmother, along with myself and my cousins, would sit around the kitchen table, prepping green beans for canning or freezing.
I remember my mom making a deal with us kids, she would pay us $0.01 for every weed we pulled from the garden. We usually lost count at 500, thinking we were going to be rich.
I remember always being jealous of the kids who got Oreo cookies for lunch, while I was stuck with homemade chocolate chip. Those same chocolate chip cookies were essential currency while in University (any time I needed friends to move furniture, or drive me somewhere, etc.). They are a regular appearance in the lunchroom at work.
And I now understand that anything homemade is a rare, and very appreciated, gift.