Thursday, December 04, 2008

Covered in Shells

Through my head, this refrain repeats- How on earth did women in the pioneer days do it? Without microwaves, ovens, dishwashers or washers and dryers. How did they manage one whole day, not to mention prepare for holidays? Especially out there on the Oregon Trail? Food for thought on this busy Thursday morning, with a stack of Christmas cards that need some words of cheer, with diapers that need to be hung to dry, with stockings to stitch together, and with a dog that desperately needs for me to croon Dave Mathews Band songs to her. Don't confuse that Precious Moments dog eye look for anything short of admiration.

So, that could be my excuse for not blogging lately. Truth be told, though, I'm stuck in thought patterns that I can't seem to shake off. I do try to mix the deep thoughts with exaggeratedly hyperbolic representations of students of the past, toddler of the present, and no small amount of Dogasus. Bear with me while I purge.

Not so many years ago, there was a little boy with curly, dark hair, pale skin, and the berry-blue eyes of his Black Irish ancestry. He happily created machine guns with rolling pins and the waist-tie of his bathrobe, assembled complicated weaponry with Legos, watched GI Joe with rapt attention, and got into the various scraps and scrapes with neighborhood children, including his siblings. As he grew, he continued in his love of all things military, all things history, and organized with his friends a particularly memorable paintball ambush of some neighborhood riffraff that were vandalizing our house.

Life has a way of indiscriminately aiming some stunningly powerful elements at just about anyone and everyone. With this small boy, it was in the form of pretty strong family violence. He grew a very potent form of chivalry as a way of dealing with it. The Marine Corps was a natural progression. Today, he trains in the desert of California, awaiting an early spring deployment to the Middle East. I couldn't be prouder of my little brother. At the same time, my thoughts splinter in a thousand directions- why does he even have to go? I thought we were finished. What happened to the Senetors who were voted in on so many promises of bringing everyone home? Most important- who will he be when he comes back? Because he will come back- I'm not giving him a choice. I cannot believe that, in all that has happened in his 24 years, this is where it will end.

1 comment:

gs said...

I once heard someone say that the invention that single-handedly released women from bondage to "womens work" and allowed them to take a place beside males was the clothes washing machine.

Now one of those places where women stand beside males is on the line of battle.