For many years, I resented the fact that while growing up, my parents expected me, as well as my brothers and sister, to do so many chores around our home setting. We had to hoe in the trees and orchard, keeping the weeds out; mow the lawns; weed the garden, pick the garden produce and help can or freeze it; clean the house, garage and patio; help get ready for guests by making desserts; and we had to help with washing clothes, ironing and mending, as well.
Not until many years later did I realize how much I was taught and how much I was able to do. Not only could I do ordinary household chores, but I also recognized particular plants be they flowers or trees or garden vegetables. Besides all this, Mom taught my sister and me to crochet, embroider dish cloths and sew. She loved crafts and tried out any new fads that came along. My sister and I both have similar ways in that we can follow directions and make whatever we choose. We were taught how to use our hands in very productive ways. In similar fashion, my Dad taught my brothers how to fix things, how to change oil on a car and also took them hunting so they understood the ways of guns.
What a blessing! And yet it took me a mighty long time to be grateful to my parents for their foresight and fortitude. Perhaps it’s never too late to say thank you. I suspect our parents knew that one day we would realize what a legacy they left us.
Mary Jane Berger, OSB