The last few weeks have been hectic around the farm. It’s always a little unnerving when school starts and our household makes the change from Mom being at home, to Mom being at work. We’ve eaten way more prepackaged food than we’d like to, stayed up just a little to late doing last minute things, and also managed to attend the county fair and a performance by the Chinese acrobats.
This week, it seems like things have finally calmed down a little bit and we are getting into a “school year” routine. Things are a little slower and a little simpler when we get in our groove. Most of you know that I think the simple things in life are some of the most joyful. Last night, some sponge rollers brought that idea back to the forefront of my thoughts.
It really all got started because Dot is here. Dot is my grandma and, most of the time, she lives in Kansas. But, this weekend, my Aunt and Uncle brought her down to visit. My little girl, Elizabeth, was beyond excited! When Elizabeth was very small, Dot lived close by, and would spend hours watching and playing with Elizabeth while I was teaching school and Joey was working on the farm. Dot (the queen of clean) taught Elizabeth to fold and sort laundry, dust, say the books of the New Testament, and many more things. Needless to say, Elizabeth is completely enamored with Dot. Elizabeth was thrilled that Dot was visiting for the weekend, and even more thrilled that Dot was going to drive over and come to our church on Sunday.
Because of these thrilling events, Elizabeth decided that she needed to have her hair rolled, so it would look extra pretty for church. I smiled when she asked me to roll her hair and agreed that it would look beautiful. I got down the antique cookie tin that we keep the rollers in, waited for Elizabeth to get positioned on the edge of the bed, and then began to comb.
As I combed the long, wet, clean-smelling hair and listened to Elizabeth chatter on, I began to smile and think about how good it was to be engaged in such a simple and old-fashioned activity. My mind wandered back through the years, and I caught glimpses of all my grandmas and great-grandmas with rollers in their hair, bustling about in their kitchens, or doing some odd bit of housework while they waited for their hair to “set”. My memories moved on, and I saw myself as a little girl sitting very still while my mom rolled my hair. I remembered how hard it was to sleep in the rollers, what high hopes I had that I’d look like a glamorous movie star, and how I’d taken the rollers out in the middle of the night and decided that being glamorous wasn’t worth sleeping in uncomfortable rollers.
My mind snapped back to the present as I snapped the last roller into place. Elizabeth ran to look in the mirror, and I thought (for the hundredth time) that little girls in sponge rollers are just adorable! That night as we snuggled in bed reading a bed time story, I thought again just how rich and full life can be when we slow down and think about all the joys that surround us each and every day.
We have so much to be thankful for, but it is so easy to forget that, as we get caught up in the latest “right now” project. Stress washes over us and we forget that the good things in life are still there. All we have to do is take the time to slow down and enjoy them. Whether it’s rolling hair, reading to your child, savoring the taste of homemade bread, or being thankful for how good your favorite chair feels when you sink down into it at the end of day, we all need to stop and remember that we are richly blessed with the simple things.
Elizabeth and Great-Grandma Dot