Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Musings.

Jaime's cryptic post a week ago or so got me musing all week long.  Dirt is such a prickly subject - is it bad for you?  Good for you?  We all know how important it is to all of us.  If you would have known me, oh, 15 years ago, you would have found me vacuuming, dusting and sweeping with alarming regularity.  And I was living in a tiny one bedroom apartment with two cats.  Of course, I was also living in the City, which is incredibly dirty (in a baaaa-d way), so it was an uphill battle.  Now I live in the country with little between me and all that dirt out there - but it's dirt in a gooooo-d way.  I am lucky, I think, that my mother did not constantly try to sanitize us when we were kids.  Not that she'd even have gotten close.  Lord, were we dirt magnets!  My early childhood reminds me of having dogs.  She'd feed us our breakfast, we'd do our required chores for our 25 cents allowance, then she'd open the door and we'd tear-ass outside.  We'd be gone until she or one of the other mothers hollered "Lunch!"  We'd straggle in and wash our hands, inhale our sandwiches, and out we'd go again until dinner.  Other than our hands, the rest of us looked like we'd been dipped in dirt.  And I was proud of it, by cracky.  We did get away with more at lunch time - but had to spiff up a bit more for dinner.

One particular episode that comes to mind was when I was in my "secret mole" phase.  I had snuck out to the big field and standing line of trees about a quarter mile behind our development every day for a week.  I had carefully chosen my spot and had dug quite a nice hidey-hole, camouflaged with moss, grass and sticks.  The day I tried it on for size, it had rained.  I fit quite snugly and, when I emerged, I was encased in mud.  Figuring I'd better let it dry, then try to peel it off before I went home, I joined up with two neighbor boys who were inadequately impressed by my muddy-ness.  So, as we walked down the dirt road parallel to our development, I made up the game - "who-is-fastest-and-can-pick-the-most-wild-blackberries".  I won -- but, in the process of out-running and out-jumping them, I leaped into a nest of old barbed wire.  Being the tough cookie I was, I did.not.cry.  As a matter of fact, the lacerations down my shins and trails of blood caused quite the impression with my pals.  So I sauntered ever so nonchalantly home with my awe-struck companions, went into the kitchen and said, "Hi Mom."  There was a scream, broken plates and a quick call to my uncle, the vet.  Then there was a tetanus shot - which did make me cry - and a painful, stinging bath.

Ah, youth.

Good heavens!  How I have digressed!  Now that I've horrified you, made you glad you didn't have me for a child, or put you to sleep, I'll get back to my point.  While I do try and keep most of the dirt at bay, and I do ever-so-occasionally dust, I don't wash my hands every five seconds.  I don't wash everything I eat.  And - except for this gluten thing - I am as healthy as a horse.  I feel that too much sanitation can kill any chance we have of building up immunity to bugs, germs and the like.  I wash my hands when it counts - like after I've cleaned up the field of battle after a mouse massacre.  Ack.


  1. I was raised the opposite. My Mother was an O.R. nurse and was very obsessed with clean hands and sanitation. If you removed something from the refrigerator you had to wipe it off before putting it back in. Both my Brother and I do get sick often and I have allergies. Makes you wonder. BUT I still wash my hands all the time. You can get some really nasty stuff from dirty hands or hands you dont think are dirty. I am shuddering a little thinking of not washing my hands. Ugh.

  2. You must have been a real challenge to your mom as a little kid. Also one who had a very happy childhood and made her smile a lot (with a turned back or hand in front of mouth)!

    So . . . how often these days do you go out back, dig a nice, cozy hole and crawl into it?

  3. Oh, your story made me laugh out loud! (And yes, say a prayer of thanks that my 10-year-old boy does NOT have those propensities.)

    My mom is a dietitian so has always been a stickler about food and kitchen cleanliness. She did not effectively train me, except for the indoor-cat-who-could-dig-in-the-litterbox-and-then-jump-on-the-counter phobia.

  4. Lord, childhood sounds like mine.

    And I still don't wash everything I eat, esp. if I grew it myself. And I feed my dogs off my fork at the table..and my mom is probably spinning in her grave occasionally. LOL

    I do vacuum often still--4 dogs, 8 cats and a bird necessitate that. But I don't dust enough probably. Oh well--I just wipe off the tv screen or the computer screen with my hand every now and then--it's enough. LOL

  5. Jane - I WILL wash my hands if I've been doing some especially nasty work - even if I was wearing gloves. But, for the most part, I am blissfully ignorant.

    Mama Pea - You know, after I wrote this, I thought about digging another cozy hole. But it would kill my back to get down on the ground and crawl in, and most of this 'dirt' is stone and rock!

    Michelle - Yes, do NOT let B read this post! I will have to say that I do wipe off counters fairly often. For the same reason.

    Akannie - A girl after my own heart! Don't you wonder how you can have cats that aren't bald with all the fur tumbleweeds that are left in their wake?

  6. That's a great story! We used to be sticklers for having a clean floor, but since I started homesteading, I can't keep the dirt out, so I've loosened up on the immaculately clean floor obsession. A friend once told me my floors were so clean, she would eat off of them. I wouldn't advise she do that now. I am still very particular about a clean kitchen and food bacteria though.

  7. You've seen my house, so you know I don't worry about dirt until vegetation begins to grow in it. Cats rarely venture on my counters because they're constantly cluttered. When I do have a cat wit those proclivities, a get a new squirt gun or set a spray bottle on stream. Doesn't take long.
    My letters are erathot nisinces. Really?

  8. Great story with visual of the blood and mud LOL! I had a mom similar to yours I think, we were outside all day and as long as we washed hands before dinner and took our nightly bath she seemed happy enough, and like you, I rarely get sick with the flu or anything other than a cold, and those aren't too frequent.

  9. What a GREAT story! I can just see your mom! LOL!!
    I'm not an obsessive handwasher either and I hardly ever get a cold or flu...makes you wonder.

  10. HA!!!!! Thanks for the laugh. Love the story about you and the boys.And the barbed wire fence. And the tetanus shot. Seriously - you should get a gig on the comedy channel. I would actually turn on the television to watch you and your hilarious musings!!

  11. Loved it! So glad you survived your childhood. :)

    I remember being about in first grade and going out all bundled up after a thaw. I decided to wade in the mud and got stuck! I remember standing there hollering for my mom. Some neighbor must have had pity and called her because she finally came and rescued me.

    I agree about balance. Being to obsessed with germs is partly why folks now get sick so often (I think), they have no natural built up immunity.