To the Plucky Housewives…..

To make money for my hobby, and to also qualify for work study, I get my hours in at the library on campus.  When I got the job, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Shelving was a must.  However, I got the end of the straw that said “congrats you get to crop and rotate and do computer stuff.”  It really is a fortunate job to have fallen into.   But again, not in the expected way.   For, I get to crop, rotate, and scan (beyond the massive collection of golf magazines) a plethora of old cook books.  I’m talking pre-1900’s old, in some cases!  Tonight was one of those.  I was scanning a household manual dedicated to “The Plucky Housewives of 1876.”

At first, I chuckled.  Who doesn’t find the housewife tradition a bit dated?  A few hours in, though, and I was starting to agree with the logic behind it.  If every family could be traditional, there are undeniable benefits for having a party solely to manage the household for which sanity depends.  And what woman doesn’t secretly enjoy the craft anyways?  I know I do.  I’m a closet housewife.

I also admire the language and written text of those times.  People today write as though a dictionary were not a useful tool.  I think all the new humans of the world could use a more dedicated mother these days……

If for nothing else, to teach them to get off their butts and drop the iPhone.

Them Plucky Housewives knew what was up.

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Human Homogenization

Through a series of informative lectures and personal observations that coincided almost perfectly, I find my mind further lost in the hopeless sea that efforts are for such little gain.  The world is a global habitat now, and everything will homogenize at alarming rates.  This means, for a girl who cherishes diversity in life….that diversity will suffer.

I have long noticed this pattern of righting wrongs and the desire to go back to nature.  An overwhelming guilt plagues the wary individuals of successive generations since the human colonization of every continent.  This guilt says we have to hit the undo button, or life will spiral downward. I’m one of those wary individuals.  I’m stuck at odds with what I love and what I see.  And what needs to continue to be.  Humans crave stability, but a healthy planet is nothing near 100% stable.  And the world is changed daily.

The path I have chosen for education and career is precisely what I was born for.  The problem lies in the people.  I can’t decide if the people are the problem or the ally.  I can’t decide if I’m fighting them or I’m helping them.  The name of the game is serving human interest, even in the most grandiose of purported conservation.  I’m supposed to speed up the process of managing resources, with this fisheries degree I stand to obtain.  But I just don’t know what stable mindset I should support to tackle the vast complexity of issues.

The slew of thoughts I now entertain came from the trigger of a most random event.  Last night, I was picking apples from my place of origin in Charlotte, Michigan.  I was to bring the produce twenty minutes north to Lansing.  And I distinctly remember, as I examined each apple for insects and imperfections, that I had a fleeting concern for the transportation of unknown or unwanted organisms to nonnative habitat.  Of course, I had to laugh at myself.  Too late for that worry.  It was too late before I was born.

Planes take off and land daily from destinations hundreds of miles apart.  This happens just…..beyond control.  You can’t stop the mixing of life forms.  You can’t keep things pure.  Pure does not exist.   I have even read articles that persuade quite convincingly the likelihood of humans becoming all one race with the increased occurrence of interbreeding.  Management processes only slow the inevitable.  Because, inevitably, there is no stopping the will of the living.  Animals will flourish where they can, just as humans continue to do.  Flora, Fauna, pathogens, amoeba, what have you….if it can take over, it will.  And that is the reality of all life on earth.  Humans unleashed this monstrosity before it could ever emerge on its own.  The mixing and mixing that goes on before our eyes.  And when we try to impose human interest on it…..

What’s the point?

Downsizing in the Name of Opportunity?

After an amicable visit with my dad for an exchange of groceries and home-grown fruits, I was left with a little advice:
“You should start downsizing soon so you don’t miss out on opportunities”

Immediately, I agreed with him.   I mean, who can argue that a house full of pets doesn’t tie you down?  But then my true spirit kicked in and I knew deep down that nothing he ever had to say on the matter could change my desires. 

Simply put, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything in life.  In fact, I believe the fish room and hobby is creating more opportunity than diminishing.  So what if I can’t study abroad or vacation for extended periods?  I am not even slightly bothered, really.  When I do a little soul-searching. 

I have had a tendency to go overboard with my hobbies, I admit.  I keep more fish than most people find sane and I always want more.  I don’t act on those impulses and I have decent control of the situation.  But the outsider judges all too quickly that I’m crazy and need to change my ways.  They don’t say this, I just see it in their eyes.  I see it in the way they proceed to live differently in the name of normalcy.  I also see that nothing I am doing is hurting my pursuit of happiness nor theirs.  So why do I need to downsize?

What if I’m settled in and I am content with life…..wouldn’t most people say “more power to ya” if that’s the context?  I am young.  But I have never wavered in my desires.  I have never fallen out of this phase.  I am convinced I need not seek to complicate my current set up for anticipated travels.  To be honest, I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be.

A New Stroll through an Old Town

I live very close to an old town.  THE Old Town, actually.  By car it’s about a five minute journey.  By walking….closer to twenty minutes.  By biking, however….no more than ten.  Since this destination houses a favorite pet store of mine (Preuss Pets), I frequent the area.  Today, I took the bike route. 

I had two things in mind to prepare for my impending bug/fish collecting trip:  fish bags and bait shop goods.  I knew how to acquire the former, but was uncertain what I would find in the latter.  To me, it was adventure time.  Such small unknowns spice up the simplest of days.  So I took off on a refurbished bike.  I felt the breeze and pedaled with ease.  The weather was impeccable for biking.  I soaked it in with every breath.   If I set aside my worries, this is an excellent time. 

Despite the inconveniences of not having a car, I can deal with the bike alternative.  I can always deal.  I survive and adapt and I find something good whenever I can.  So in that sense, though I had visited this town so many times in my past.  Last week, even.  I still found new pleasures and scents and sights and I let it overwhelm my sensory processes. 

The bags were acquired.  And I think I’ll go back to that bait shop!

Every Morning is Christmas Morning

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Do you believe in the Christmas Crayfish???

I do.  🙂

Christmas is a fabulous joy when you’re young, and even as you age the promise of presents in some manner always entices the materialistic side of us all.  However, when I say that every morning is Christmas morning, I’m referring to the childish enthusiasm that can only be emulated by….well, a child.  Specifically, that moment when a child rips off the covers and runs downstairs to a tree alight with neatly wrapped packages.  This always occurs in the morning hours, when sleep can no longer satisfy the curiosity to know.  I’m not unlike that child.  Every morning, I have the option to indulge in this curiosity.  I can search for new spawn in my fish tanks. 

Okay, don’t run along just yet.  This is legit.  I have had many experiences where fish just spawn overnight….and then the present of many bundles of joy can be collected in the morning.  Perhaps the best example of this was when two days after Christmas (many years ago) I discovered 31 Gambusia affinis fry tucked in the floating plants of my display tank.  I scooped each fry out with gusto, and counted them as you would emerging puppies at birth.  It was a different time in my life, but that feeling can easily be replicated today when i have my 40 or so tanks to examine. 

Sometimes getting at the fry early is critical, so that’s where the rushing comes in.  I have had many sleepless nights where I simply couldn’t stop checking for fry.  I didn’t want to miss that moment when Santa Claus arrived!!  

Today, like every day, I face this potential.  I indulged, and flashed a light in the tanks one by one…noting spawning behavior or lack thereof.  I was weighing if the livebearing females seemed slimmer than earlier.  Maybe they popped?  who knows!  it’s always exciting.  And with the prospect of fry on the line, there is not a chance I could ever have a dull day!