Article submitted by Jeannine Andre
Nice of Helen Reddy to belt that song out with such mountain moving power. I've sung it at the top of my lungs fully feeling the womanly strength she sings of. I've turned right around ½ hour later and crumpled into a ball of tears just trying to get a fence stake in. Truth be known, as women we have many strengths. The song evokes a fantasy that we can do anything from nurse the baby to build a barn, then put the little black dress on and be femininely sexy. Some women can.
Now don't get me wrong and get all militant feminist on me. This is not to say that men out do us ladies, but We are made differently from men. They would look silly in the black dress trying to nurse a baby after all. We do have strengths most men don't have.
Besides, I've chainsawed with men that I won't allow to touch my saw cuz they'll burn it up with ignorance (not being judgmental, just observation). Then there are the guys who helped me learn how to use mine...and I've got a lot still to learn.
I have a neighbor I check in on and bring flowers to once in awhile. She has dementia and she loves flowers. We have had the same exact conversation many times. I'll say something about needing to get some wood, or weed eat. She'll say, “oh, well don't you have a husband to take care of that for you? I respond “Roberta, I've tried those out and they don't work well for me. Short of the diamonds, I'm a regular Liz Taylor” We both crack up and she tells me about how wonderful her husband was. It makes us both happy....every time...
People tell me “you're so strong”. Well, in many ways I am...as we all are. What they don't know is that sometimes, the sun is going down, it's getting late and cold and the one last cut into a branch I'm sawing binds and gets the saw stuck tight. I don't have the oomph after a day of hard work, or ever to lift the branch and no other saw except a hand saw at the top of the property in the shed. Sun's getting lower and a storm blowing in. What they don't know is that sometimes, times like this, I clench my fist at the sky, cuss like a drunken sailor with a hangnail (yes, Miss Jeannine can swear) and sob. Not today though. Today I sing through my work, and enjoy a warm fire, because like the song says, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”