Because I Can: Wendy gets unapologetically Grumpy

Over the past couple months I have posted some joyful pictures of my canning successes. (In true social media fashion, no one will ever see the failures.)

In response to these, I got an unexpected and significant amount of cautious questions and some condescending dismissals, like “well I wouldn’t bother with that because it’s cheap at the store, but if you want to be a prepper, be my guest.” And “why are you doing so much canning?”

Social media is one of those weird places where, if you put it out there, you can’t control reactions, nor should you want to. It’s also one of those places where what you think of as happy gets commented on by people who enjoy spreading misery, or who believe their candles will burn brighter if they throw cold water on your flame.

I’m having fun. I can because I can. I like it. The food is good and I know what’s in it. The jars look pretty on a shelf and have become that kind of functional beauty decoration folklorists loved to talk about in academic terms, back in Grad School when we couldn’t afford any art anyway.

So maybe I’m a little annoyed when others feel a need to shred the joy, but c’est la vie. Prepper is hardly the worst thing I’ve been called in life, and the political goo that sticks to the term washes off easily in my water bath canner. I just spent a week at the beach with friends who are taking herbal medicine classes to enhance their professions, and they’re getting jeered at for being hippie weirdos. Which amuses them. Herbal medicines are about the most capitalistic thing going in America right now. You have NO IDEA how much a tincture based on herbs picked for free from your grandpa’s acre sells for per ounce. Or how good sea rocket tastes, sauteed in olive oil. Laughing all the way to the bank, they are, with their muscles relaxed from the stuff they know how to make cheap and apply in just the right spot.

If everything, from why french fries are soggy to the reasons people like canned milk, has to be politicized, here’s wishing those who do so what joy they can scrape out of such ungracious social media interaction. It doesn’t look like much joy from here, but live and let live; isn’t that the point.

Can’t we just enjoy life and let others do the same? Sometimes people have hobbies that involve learning new things because they enjoy learning new things. As opposed to, say, sitting around watching TV. Not everything has to have a democratic or republican slant. Sometimes we pick violets because they’re pretty, and sometimes because they make great sauce for ice cream. Vanilla. Which one hears republicans prefer. Whatever. I guess democrats like Cherry Garcia?

Cut it out, y’all. Get real lives. Enjoy something because you enjoy it. Remember joy, contentment, peace? We can still do that. Live and let live.

(Note to friends who may be feeling attacked right now: It’s okay; I know you asked because you care. Other people didn’t and I’m talking to them. Let it go.)

19 thoughts on “Because I Can: Wendy gets unapologetically Grumpy

  1. You go, girl! Find your own joy, as should we all! My only problem is being envious of your energy and creativity!

  2. Hello Wendy. First off, I truly enjoy reading your posts up here in Ontario and often pass them on. This one on canning because you can and the reaction of readers is why I do not do social media. Every year I make jam, relish and chili sauce for my husband and I as well as for family and friends. All that matters to me is that the people I care about enjoy what I make. Cheers Helen

    On Sun, Apr 25, 2021, 8:35 AM Wendy Welch: Books, Yarn, Cats, Opioids, wrote:

    > wendywelch posted: ” Over the past couple months I have posted some joyful > pictures of my canning successes. (In true social media fashion, no one > will ever see the failures.) In response to these, I got an unexpected and > significant amount of cautious questions and s” >

  3. I am not sure there is anything more troublesome to me than a friend – or really, anyone who knows me – trying to put a damper on my joy. I get overjoyed by things other people tend not to get overjoyed by. I spend a lot of time on things that would cost me less money and less time if I just bought them. I am never clear why what I do often causes such consternation in those who have no desire to do the things that I like to do – or am just motivated to do by fun and/or compulsive curiosity. A position of passive judgment is just so easy. It doesn’t take a single bit of effort. It only takes a tongue and a “Tsk-tsk-tsk.” Sucking the joy or humor or curiosity out of anything someone else is doing is just mean. Especially in these days where joy is hard to find. I do care about what people say to me because I care about them. I often decide I just need to ignore it and move on with my messy, funky self, but it would be wonderful if people would just be lovely about what I do or just be quiet so I don’t have to waste my time adjusting my sails, at all. I am not going to change what I do, so to give me the idea that I should cut it out is just pointless. And, mean. The mean part. That’s the hardest for me. When someone I care about is dismissive and mean. People need to cut that garbage out. Seriously.

  4. I love that you’re canning and agree wholeheartedly with all you have said here! (This coming from a hedge witch/hippie who milks her own goats, cans, and has dreadlocks) 😘

  5. I would love to be able to get motivated to do canning again, but it’s not a good time for me right now for that. I love that you’re doing it for whatever reason you and enjoying it! I do maintain a pretty cool native plants and herb garden which is quickly consuming more and more of my yard, to support pollinators and birds.

  6. I’m no longer a canner, but I came here to say that I’m going to have my local library order a copy of your anti-conspiracy book. It sounds really interesting!

    I really enjoyed your books about your bookstore, and foster care. I have recommended the latter to people who are considering doing it themselves.

  7. So tired of every little or big choice becoming political! It feels like we are no longer allowed to have a preference without taking sides in n a bigger issue.
    Yay for canning!

  8. Boy did you hit it on the 🎯. Wow, Wendy, my thoughts and many others thoughts I am sure… You said it right and you are SO RIGHT. LETS GET BACK TO REAL LIFE, ENJOYING THE REAL THINGS IN LIFE THAT GIVE US HAPPINESS. No strings politics or…and everyone should get off their couches commenting on this and that and go out there and go and DO SOMETHING. Thanks. So refreshing to hear your SMART WORDS. Keep up the CANNING. GOD BLESS.

  9. This got lost in my mailbox for quite a while….just read it. Thank you for who you are and the sharing of your thoughts! You are often the voice of reason rising thru the gobbelty gook of craziness. Like you…I’m a canner. My father in law taught me how…..he always had a huge garden. Now I’m moving on towards 80 years old and can’t lift the canning kettle anymore but I still love to can as much as I can. Nothing gives a feeling of satisfaction like seeing rows of home canned food for my family and friends!

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