"That night, Otter Woman tossed on her pallet of pine branches thinking of other things she had noticed. White women could not make peace inside their lodges. Day after day they fought dust and dirt. They made war on everything-clothes, pots, floors; fighting with lye soap, scouring ashes, straw brooms, and feather dusters. Otter Woman felt sorry for these white squaws who did not realize that dust and dirt were just a part of life to be endured like a bad, cold, hunger or mosquitoes." quote from Sacajawea by Anna Lee Waldo
This is one of my favorite quotes from Sacajawea which I am officially finished now that my book review is done.
Ever since I was a child I have had a problem with doing household chores. Both of my sisters still resent me for not helping with the housework as a child. I remember my older sister dragging me to the sink to dry a few dishes but you know what it says about taking a horse to water. I was a stinker for sure. Mom kinda threw in the towel over this. I do not recall ever vacuuming or dusting, much to the other two's chagrin.
My Indian Mother on the other hand, was a real cleaning fanatic. She was taught well by the nuns at the residential school about keeping a clean house, her nativeness was cleaned out of her as well.
After I had moved away from home, whenever she came to visit she would end up cleaning. My roommate and I finally forbade her to and told her just to sit down and relax. "Where is Mom," I asked my roomie. "I don't know!" Then we would both rush to the bathroom to find her scrubbing the bathroom to a shine.
When my sisters came to visit, they were not so cordial. One would stand with a towel beside the tub, sighing. I would reply by pulling out the scrub brush to guiltily ready the tub fit for an occupant. If I had remained as spunky as I had been as a child, I would have handed her the brush and ran!
Now, I am somewhat better but not better enough not to be amused by Otter Woman's observation. My Mom was caught in the crossfire between cultures really. She would fuss if the window curtains were not hanging straight. "Do you want people to think that Indians live here?" she would cry. "But Mom, we are...."