Another Day in the Country
National Women’s Day
© Another Day in the Country
Yes, I heard about it on the news. I thought to myself, “Isn’t that wonderful? Nice to be reminded,” and then I promptly got busy with other things and completely missed National Women’s Day.
Here was a whole day —dedicated to me, I’m assuming — and it went right by my awareness.
The day after, I was driving over to Abilene to exercise — which is my twice-weekly brush with civilization — and I heard someone talking on the radio about National Women’s Day.
“So what did you do, Pat Wick?” I asked myself with a castigating edge to my inner voice, “How did you celebrate Women’s Day?”
So, tell me, dear reader, would you agree that every day a woman my age is healthy and well with a to-do list she can actually accomplish, is cause for celebration (even if you forget it is a designated day to celebrate noteworthy, heroic women — which, of course, we are)?
I actually had assigned myself a task on National Women’s Day: taking down Christmas decorations.
“About time,” you might say, since Christmas season has been over for almost a hundred days now. However, once those decorations are up, I really want to get a big bang for my buck, so I attempt to expand and enlarge the decorations’ relevance.
The Christmas lights outside came down right away.
“No use squandering electricity,” I reasoned.
The wind did the honors on my mailbox decor and blew it across the yard to be picked up by my sister.
Inside decorations this year were limited to red and white Christmas decorations on the tree and a similar arrangement on top of the credenza.
I’d gone all out with this color scheme and my search for Christmas cheer by also wrapping every picture or mirror hanging on the wall in my living room and hallway in red and white Christmas paper with big red bows and even Christmas tags.
This was to remind me of the many Christmas blessings I was receiving during this year.
The presents on my wall were so pretty that I hated to take them down. Since they were red and white, we just transferred the decor to Valentine’s season with the addition of a few hearts.
Thus, the Christmas tree became a Valentine tree by adding heart-shaped ornaments, prolonging the relevant seasonal trappings.
It all worked together, brightening the living room and this winter weather, until now. It was time for it all to be removed.
In my long years of experience, it’s always been the women of the family who put up decorations at my house, so doing it alone isn’t a new phenomena.
But, depending upon how much you put up, the taking down part is a much harder job.
To give myself extra stick-to-itiveness I declared my intention to friends.
“It’s on the schedule,” I said, “Tomorrow the Christmas/Valentine decorations are all coming down.”
When Monday dawned, I’d already forgotten the day’s national significance; but I remembered the task and set to accomplishing it.
In between the taking down and the packing away, I fed and watered the chickens and gathered the eggs.
I made my bed and fluffed up the pillows. I fixed breakfast and lunch, started the dishwasher. I wrote a letter to my grandson, enclosing money for a “mission” I’d asked him to accomplish.
His dad’s birthday is coming up, so I devised a family outing to celebrate and encouraged Dagfinnr to learn new skills.
“Your mission,” I wrote, “should you choose to accept it, is to take your dad out for coffee and perhaps dessert. Your mom can come, too, or it can just be the two of you. You choose the place, ask your Dad in advance to go with you, and you pay the bill with the money enclosed.”
I want him to have the experience of being a gracious man, planning an event, paying the bill, leaving a tip.
These are skills children need to learn. I, on the other hand, have new skills to learn, too.
For me, one of those skills is called “Not biting off more than you can chew.” Putting up all those Christmas decorations and gradually adding more and more to the scheme seemed effortless last December as the holidays approached. But taking them all down? That was a big job! I was tired when the job was completed.
To keep the house from looking ho-hum, Easter decorations have gone up. In retrospect, those tasks of decorating a home, refreshing the house, seem an appropriate task for National Women’s Day.
I also made supper, hunted for a spring-y looking tablecloth to cover the time-worn top of Aunt Anna’s old table, and found some pastel-colored plates in the back of the cupboard to use setting the table.
To be served a meal is one of the nicest things to have happen on any day in the country — let alone National Women’s Day.