Growing Up With Grease

Grease has been on my brain today.  No, not the movie.  Or the song.

In cleaning things out from Blackberry Flats, the homeplace, I wound up with two bars of Lava soap still unopened.  They were my Daddy’s.  When I asked Aub to help me by putting it away in my bathroom, she asked, “What is this stuff anyway?”

Lava soap and memories of my Daddy
Lava soap and memories of my Daddy

Lava soap.  Only the best go to soap EVER for folks who worked around cars and grease.  Well until they put Gojo on the market.  I remember Daddy keeping some of that out in his building and using it after working on one or another of the cars that lived in his yard.  But before that, Lava–the green stuff.  Lava soap reminds me of days working outside around my Daddy.  Of getting grease or pine tar off my hands.  Lava soap reminds me of Daddy.  Period.

So I now have two bars.  I don’t find myself with car grease and the like on my hands much anymore, but I will find a reason to use this soap.  Until then, I’ll keep it tucked away.  For just such an occasion.  And to keep a bit of Daddy close by.

As if I needed soap for that.

This evening I was reading a post by my scarf-maker friend called, “What’s Your Excuse?”  We’ve both been thinking about what we tell ourselves that gets in the way of us working towards our dreams.  Yes.  That.  Things like I say–“I don’t have enough time.”  “I wouldn’t be any good anyway.”  “I don’t have what it takes.”


Yes, that’s right.  I said it.

I’m calling myself out.

My parents not only taught me what could wash away the grease but also what the best kind of grease is and what it is capable of.

Elbow grease.

My folks led by example, and they showed us that if you put your mind to it and put some elbow grease behind it, you can get things done.

I remember when it was my turn to wash the dishes after supper.  One of us girls would clear, one would rinse and load, and one would do the dishes that had to be washed by hand.  Or something like that.  I can remember when Mama came back through and handed me a pot that I’d given a half-hearted scrubbing to.  I whined that it was just too hard.

“Grab that sponge and give it some elbow grease.  It will come clean.  You can do this.”

And she was always right.  Always.

If my heart is set on something, and I get my head wrapped around it and make a plan, all I have to do is apply some elbow grease–work on making it happen–then I can do it.  I can.  But head and heart only aren’t going to get the job done.

The magic ingredient.

Elbow grease.

A little stick-to-it-iveness and putting some hard work into it.

And it can happen.

Especially if I use that same elbow grease to heave all the excuses out the window.

Love and wishes for dreams worth using elbow grease to all.


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