Saturday I was scheduled to give a talk at the local library. My sister Gay and her husband, Stu, and friends from out of town came. Although I stand before groups and read and speak often, this engagement was different. I had never spoken on this subject.
We arrived at the library, my brother-in-law carrying my box of props consisting of spray bottles, catalogs, detergent boxes and other things. By 1:45 PM I felt sure my ten handouts were a waste of paper. No one was there except Carolyn, the lady who had invited me to speak.
Obviously no one was interested in my subject, De-toxing Your Home. Perhaps they were like my dear friend Virginia who said there was no reason for her to come. She wasn’t going to do that.
May has been declared in many states as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity month. I hoped to raise awareness in my community about the dangers of the chemicals we use every single day while thinking they are safe. I hoped to encourage those who didn’t know better to stop using scented dryer sheets, scented detergents, and all the scented products on the market that appeal to women especially, but do not give the facts about the toxins they contain.
Suddenly just before two o’clock the doors opened and folks began streaming in. I relaxed then and enjoyed speaking to people who knew of many things I mentioned and some who wanted to know more. One lady said she has had to come home in the middle of the night because she couldn’t find a motel or hotel room that wasn’t “fragranced” and she knew if she stayed there she would be sick. Others told of problems with perfume and stores that used “air fresheners” and I realized that, just here in our little town, were a number of people with MCS.
My handouts ran out and we made more. The long list of recipes I gave them for making their own safe products seemed to be appreciated.
The group was so enthusiastic about the subject that my one hour talk stretched into 90 minutes. Best of all, my friend Linda told me, “You have finally gotten my attention.” She and her husband plan to make up recipes for their home care, using simple ingredients such as vinegar, soda, water, Borax or washing soda. The cheapest ways to clean are the best ways to clean our homes. No unsafe chemicals in these ingredients.
My weekend was terrific with my family and friends here. And I feel I made a difference, in my own small way, to raising awareness of indoor air pollution, chemical sensitivities, and keeping our air pure and safe for all of us.