Nature vs. Nurture

I’ve come to believe I was raised very much by nature and nurture, mom having left me to nature (ie: my own devices) or to nurture (ie: my grandparents). Gran tried her hardest to get me to behave like a lady, which believe it or not I can actually do when absolutely necessary.

Afterwards I come home, eat beans from the can (and you know what that leads to), drink from the bottle and swear like a sailor whose leave has just been cancelled.

My mother was a firm believer in absent parenting. My grandparents, on the other hand, were not. Mom didn’t seem to care how or where I presented myself, so long as she wasn’t embarrassed by my presence.

My grandparents, aunts & uncles, not so much.

I can remember bible verses and crafty things thanks to my aunt and uncle. Granted, my aunt got me doing crafts to get me out of her hair every other weekend, and her husband paid me to learn the verses. I can even recite a dinner blessing in low German, and I think I might stretch to the Lord’s Prayer and Oh Tannenbaum – those paid $5 each.

I know how to shoot a rifle thanks to my maternal uncles, and Grandpa. They also taught me how to box for self-defense. I have a basic working knowledge of shooting a shotgun as well, but I always landed on my ass, so I gave that up and settled for the .22 rifle.

I know what plants and berries are edible in the wild, and I know which direction is where, and what tracks belong to which animal. I can fish, garden and probably butcher an animal if I had to, thanks to Grandpa.

I know the absolute basics of sewing, knitting, crochet, embroidery and needlepoint; cooking, canning and baking thanks to Gran… who would have shown me more, I have no doubt. Unfortunately I always managed to duck out the door and follow Gramps off to some adventure or other (usually involving mucking out the rabbit hutches or digging in the garden). Still – I can make do. She also taught me a lot of things that – looking back – were pretty damn witchy, and she said she got the info from her mom and grandma. o_O Considering this shit runs on both sides, I guess I come by it honestly.

I think mom taught me how to read. I guess that’s something, right? She also taught me that when someone says they have terminal cancer, they aren’t always telling the truth. I mean – it’s been 26 months since she said the doctor gave her six months to live. Does that mean she has had a miracle and an extra 20 months? No. It means she lied about the diagnosis, after having family and friends die from terminal cancer. That’s the kind of mom I have, one lies about medical conditions in order to sucker friends and family out of goods, services and money.

That’s only part of why she’s out of our lives… there is more, but because of legal issues with a crazy-assed two-bit slapper whore in Alberta… I can’t go into them. Oooo…see that? No names. Try and charge us this time, bitch.

I have family that I miss so much I want to pick up the phone and call them, and family that I don’t miss one bit, that I am happy to have out of my life. Our lives. Sadly Rhia is so stressed already about Christmas and my mother that she snarls at us every time her cell phone shows a call from the woman.

So mostly for Jordan, but for Shelley, Trudy, Kirby, Jan, Barb, Ken, Gord, Susan, Laurie, K., S., P., and all the spouses & young’uns – we miss you. Lots. I wish I could find a way to overcome the stumbling blocks that have been in the way of us being as close as we once were.

All that nurture from extended family, and it was nature that took.

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