leigh ahmad

Its Not Easy Being Green: Reflections On A Summer Of Yard Work

Over the past few years, my family and I have integrated various “green” practices into our home life. We eat more home-grown vegetables, have joined various community shares agriculture  programs (CSAs) and co-ops and have faithfully visited our local farmers’ markets.  “Going green” also means being considerate about the amount of waste generated by our family and about being good stewards to the land by monitoring our usage of various chemicals.

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Wiping the Mess

Mo-pin-a (n.)  Italian slang for a dish cloth or napkin used at the dinner table .  

My first generation Italian mother grew up in Cleveland’s Little Italy during the World War II era. My mother often describes her childhood years as a struggle to get ahead. Each family member worked formidable jobs in order to put food on the table and to buy the items necessary in order to keep the household thriving. I’m quite sure “disposable” was not a word ever used during these times. The stories that are most pervasive and memorable are those of love born out of that shared struggle. The family came together and helped one another out in times of need. My mom recounts a story about how she didn’t have her own bed and bedroom until she was 18 years old because her aunt and uncle and three kids lived in her parents’ dining room.

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