Tuesday, October 02, 2007

While We're On The Subject Of Dad Shaw...

Doc stirred some memories for me tonight about him. It's funny how much better you get to know a person over the years, even after they're gone. I remember one thing that used to bug the shit out of me.

About 3 months after we were married, Doc's Mom suffered a stroke. We were living in town in a tiny corner of a victorian house with remarkable plumbing. Honestly. It was like the fucking rain forest when the drug dealers upstairs flushed the toilet. The lease was about up and, while it was difficult to tear ourselves away from the rain forest that was that close to the highway and next door to a pizza parlour...that delivered...to us, we headed home to the country to help out.

It was OK. We worked it out. I kinda liked it, actually. It was really cool to be a part of a bigger family. But after awhile, not long after the honeymoon (for real), things started to rub. I'm a city girl. I'm used to city services. I'm used to setting the trash out on a Tuesday night. I find it convenient and one less thing to worry about. But Doc Shaw was...green. He separated the trash and has been doing that since before separating the trash was cool. Paper was burned. Cans recycled. What was left? Went in the back of a cherry 1980 White Ford pick-up truck with Jack Daniels decals on the tinted windows down the road a couple of miles to my sister-in-law's house and dumped it in her trash cans on Tuesday night.

I remember literally shaking my head watching him do this. I mean, come on! It's about 20 bucks every three months to cut, like hours off the process. But Dad Shaw wouldn't hear of it. Wouldn't indeed let me pay for it. He just never got over the fact that nowadays, one must pay for trash disposal.

Back in the day, he could burn stuff and then a "colored man" would come out every now and then and carry off his trash for him. I'm sure he payed this guy in some way. It kind of sounds bad as I read it back, you must understand: Dad Shaw was very progressive. At some point, times changed and Dad Shaw drew the line. There were just some things he wasn't about to pay for.

I understand this now. Someday in the next 30 years, I'm going to draw my line. And I'm going to enjoy all the extra leg work it's going to take to do something my way. There's only so much a person can take of taking orders. Yeah, I think I'll be ready to take a stand by then. And while I do, I'll think back and smile and Dad Shaw will be standing next to me lighting his pipe.


  1. I remember my grandma cleaning off the aluminum foil, washing it, and reusing it until it just fell apart. She wouldn't dream of just throwing it away after one use.

    Sometimes I look at my life of ease and wonder if I could ever make it during the hard times back when...

  2. I feel a blogcake coming on after reading this... oddly enough, something having to do with the machines of Kipple...

    Me grandmama came of age in the Depression working as a servant girl, or something. She remembers drawing only about 1/2 of water for a bath and slucing it over her with a tin can to save on water. She was always frugal where herself was concerned, but lavished gifts and $$$ (inclduing $50 bills to everyone at Christmas, even as the family grew and grew and grew) on everyone else.

  3. "...I'm going to enjoy all the extra leg work it's going to take to do something my way."

    I know... that's so true. I wonder what those things will be.

  4. Skyler's dad, I remember relatives doing that too!

    I liked this post. One of the things I like about being in the country (and camping for that matter) is the way that your life takes on a rhythm that's determined by simple chores that you have to do for yourself.

  5. sorry-- fone cut off and I couldn't talk 'cuz I was too depressed 2 speak last nite. I'll call U 2-day.

  6. Hey, who do I have to bugger to get an invite to SZ:tCoB?? Maybe blogger has all it's poo-poo back in one sock by now??

  7. That was a great post Flannery. We all have to draw our line at some point, even if it means walking next door for the pizza instead of the delivery!

    Things are supposed to rub during and after the honeymoon, no?

  8. SD: I could never have made it. My hat's off to those who did.

    HL: Your grandma was a true sweetie pie.

    BSUWG: I wonder too.

    Bubs: You see, that's why I don't camp.

    Ghost Story: Ich Verstehe.

    HL: I'll get right on that...as soon as I take out the trash.

    Dale: It all depends on the rub, I suppose. As long as there's no chafing, I guess I'm OK.

  9. I drew my line years ago. All of these new fangled "conveniences" are the devils work. Now, if you will excuse me I must go update my iPod songlist.

  10. What do you think your line will be?

    Poor George will forever be stuck on handwriting his checks instead of paying for things electronically.

    I don't know what mine are, but I'm sure I have a few a-brewin.

    My dad is a Depression-era Okie and to this day we can't get him to use more than about a cup of water a day for all his washing needs. Drives my mom C-R-A-Z-Y.