As I was websurfing, after having done my daily post, I happened upon this site: http://www.kwicz.com/crafts.html , which has the heading “Good Use of Spare Time.” The good use in question appears to be making things.

I agree with that. I have recently talked with several people whose lives appear to be more exciting than mine (cruises to Alaska, RVing through the Rockies, serving on boards of things…). My life, as you know, is mostly engaged in making things, reading, taking care of things and people, and excessive thinking.  I like it that way. I actually had an excessively exciting life in my salad days (no, I do not intend to provide any details, ever), and saved up enough thrills and chills for the foreseeable future.

But there are many points of view on what is a good use of one’s time. Work, of course, and I hope we all have work that seems to us to be worthwhile and enjoyable. Mine involves taking care of things and people, reading, thinking, and occasionally making things. So Good Use of Spare Time is really the question. I have a picture here of a case in point. This is a nice bunch of herbs drying on my china cabinet.

I think that growing herbs is a good use of my time. Then harvesting and processing them to make things seems like a further good use of my spare time. But to my husband, it is a case of making a mess. Where my drying botanicals (and in fairness, I am showing you a neat and tidy example, because there are also rose petals drying on a cloth on the dog crate and bunches of stuff hanging heads-down in the pantry) look to me like the beginnings for nice holiday gifts and savory winter meals, they look to him like messy vegetable matter all over the house. Baskets of knitting, quilts waiting to be quilted, and neatly arrayed craft supplies are also features of our decor. Sheet music and musical instruments also take up a good bit of space. Did I mention the trebuchet in the back yard?

I would argue that these evidences of creativity simply show the visitor that we are an interesting family, making good use of our spare time. I understand that the most popular uses of spare time in America today are shopping and TV watching, neither of which makes as much mess as making things does, but are they really the best use of spare time? Not for me. Cruises to Alaska, maybe. When I am older and have fewer people to take care of.