Monday, November 11, 2013

A Test of My Emergency Broadcast System

This blog is only a test. No, that's not true. In fact, this blog is a joyous attempt to put to use some of the many stories, untrue and a-little-bit true, that jump up and down in my head.

In my real life, in addition to fishing lost objects from between the seat and the center console of the car and scraping old pizza off the living room carpet, I run a successful business. The business, while challenging in the conventional sense, is a breeze compared to the personal water-treading that seems to be the heart of life.

Intellectual, analytical and financial matters - for me, at least, that's the easy stuff. Relationships, love, aging, bikinis - that is where challenges and emotional ravines await. Not to mention diets and exercise programs.

Too, this blog is written in tribute to all the women of generations past who had big ideas, including both my paternal and maternal grandmothers.

My paternal grandmother, who, with ten or more children in the house at any given time and no formal art training whatsoever, would sit and paint beautiful, primitive watercolors for hours while the water boiled dry in the potato pot. "When you smelled that burning odor," my father told me, "You knew dinner was ready."

My maternal grandmother was widowed young and raised her three children on her own. When I asked her why she had never accepted any of the half-dozen marriage proposals she had received post-widowhood, she said, "I wasn't going to have anybody else bossing me around." One entire wall of her living room illustrated a terrible storm at sea, a mural she painted (again, no formal art training) after talking with my parents about sailing.

Here's to all of us with ideas, passion and potatoes. Including Grace Paley.

©2013 Michelle van Schouwen, Longmeadow, MA
All rights reserved.

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