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blueshoefarm at gmail dot com.... and that would be how to reach me

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gentleman Woman Farmer

That is what my neighbor called me yesterday, somewhat stumbling over it all. A gentlemanwomanfarmer. I guess that is alot better than 'single-mom-getting-into-lordknowswhat-without-a-man girl' neighbor. Sometimes I feel I am on the receiving end of folks not able to fit me into their little hole of working single ma. Whatever that means in their head, I guarantee I don't fit it.
In the past two years I have dealt with things I never dreamed were still happening around Seattle, or for that matter, since the 1970's. I forgot how open Seattle is. There is a reason people are moving here in droves.
I am only 20 miles away, but wow, it is quite a different beast over here. I am missing the alarm in my brain that has a clearly designated this-is-woman-behavior and this-is-man-behavior section. I didn't grow up that way in my family. If it needed doing, it was done. Didn't matter what gender accomplished the task. In this place, for better or worse, I am the do everything person. I don't have the luxury of only cooking and cleaning. I also have to fix the mower (slowly) clean the gutters (fearfully) get the cars repaired (I like this part) talk to neighbors with wayward dogs (not so much) oh, and get my kids in to get their teeth cleaned. For the first time in my life, I have been told that there are things women do, and things men do, and that is for a reason. And, that it is in the bible. Sigh. I am hitting small bumps of how to fit into community meetings, where the women flow to one area and the men to another. I have a foot in both the decision making homeowner group and the childrearing gardening cooking group. How is that navigated? Before I die, I will know. But for now, I don't. And sometimes it is just tiring. I know why I have such a fierce love of inclusiveness within groups. Some sort of reaction to being excluded. Yeah, yeah, not everyone needs to like me, but civility is a good thing. I make it sound like everyone is cognizant of their behavior, and I really think they are not. All strange. But also, all invigorating for me. I love a good challenge, and an opportunity for opening minds, or probably more appropriate for me, but less effective, the opportunity to smack closed minds into shock mode. But politely, of course.
I am really doomed if a man does wander into my life. Since I don't want to be the inside the house cleaning person. Or even the crafty person. I want to be the outside breaking things like my lawn mower person. Or trying to fix things and getting all oily and dirty person. Or tying my hair up with baling twine and wearing jeans all day person. And then when I am all dirty and tired come in the clean house with dinner already done person. I also don't want to be the scrub around the base of the toilet person. That is my least favorite job.


DirtyKSmama - Nikki said...

I found your blog while Googling for an article from mysistersfarmhouse. I live very near her, and I have spent the last 4 years planning, then supervising the building of, and then finishing (myself) a modern-day farmhouse on 20 acres in the middle of Kansas. The town we live near is around pop.800. I'm married with 3 kids ages 6-12, but I'm the one who hung out with the contractors, I'm the one who painted, tiled, trimmed and landscaped (OK, still in the process)the house, drive the little tractor to spread driveway gravel and mow the pasture, raise chickens, etc. I'm usually happily dirty, with boots, chore coat, torn jeans (from working outside, not styled) and pony tail tied in whatever's handy. So I know what you mean from being a different type of woman than what your new community is used to.
And the craziest part of finding your great blog? I was born and raised in West Seattle, then Renton. Then my husband (rural Kansan) and I started our family in Port Angeles! We lived there 9 years before deciding to move to Kansas near his family and start a small farm. So I'm loving your ferry pictures, references to where you live (I've been to the rainbow McDonalds many times,)etc. We haven't been back there for 2 years.
I also hate cleaning the base of the toilet, and constantly wrestle with how exactly to fit in to this very different, but lovely community. You're not alone. And I'm enjoying your blog. Thanks, Nikki

Blue Shoe Farm said...

Yay! I am not alone! That is so funny, what a small small world the internet makes. I will post of couple West Sea pics for ya... what was your old stomping grounds around here?
I wonder if I will end up in the midwest on an old farm at some point....

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