Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Lesson I Did Not Learn

My parents are in their mid-eighties. They have lived through a lot in their lifetime and managed to survive it all...however, let it be known that their life experiences have formed them into who they are today. Isn't that true of all of us?

My parents try to keep up with the times...actually they do quite well for their age. They can work a TV remote...a VCR machine (I know this is a little dated, but still pretty recent given the 80+ year span)...and a computer. My sisters and I just gave them a cell phone "for emergencies" which, thankfully, they are willing to try to learn to use. They have learned to operate the chair glide just installed on the stairway to their apartment...and are experiencing a new found freedom. They still have not tried to tackle the dishwasher (having never had one growing up...I could not live without mine) and therefore use the racks to store their snacks and plastic containers...given there is very limited cabinet space!!! They are resourceful.

Which brings me to the reason for this blog of thought today.

My mom was telling me yesterday about a pair of shoes that she took to the shoemakers...I really don't think they actually "make" shoes anymore, but the repair part is almost a lost art! Anyway...this particular pair of shoes needed to be dyed. My curiosity got the best of me when I heard this, as the only time I ever dyed shoes was "back in the day" to match a gown...for a prom...or wedding I was in. So...why did she need to dye shoes? Well...Mom said that "the color on the sides of the shoes was beginning to 'rub off' because, they were, imported shoes." IMPORTED SHOES??!! I guess she means from China or Japan. What a character!'s the lesson I never learned. My "imported shoes" would probably end up in the trash if the "color was rubbed off" and I would be off to Payless for a new pair...where Mom takes the thrifty approach and wants to salvage what she has instead of replacing with new. You must remember your mom or grandmother washing out bread bags...reusing foil and wrapping paper... and keeping every plastic cool whip or margarine container for left overs...just to name a few.

I never had to stand in line for hours waiting for bread or cheese. I never had to share a pair of shoes with my sisters...although I did wear all their hand-me-downs! I never had to walk the neighborhood peddling peanuts that my mom spent hours roasting so that we would have money for groceries. I never had to catch eels in the river, skin them and cook them for dinner. Yuck...that thought really creeps me. But my parents did.

So every little thing they have is appreciated. They waste little and "want" for even less. I grew up in a wasteful generation...where there was always "plenty more where that came from." I was not spoiled or rich...just not "needy". parents were resourceful.

I did not learn how to be resourceful...I just learned how to "have".


  1. Love your blogs and miss you alot.....Will you please write a are THIS GENERATIONS....Erma Bombeck! Keep writing Patty...your blogs make me laugh, cry and smile...LOVE YOU DEAR OLD FRIEND...can't wait to see you again

  2. Yes Patty, Gerrie is right! You are one person who makes me think about what it's all about and why I am here (I should say, for whom I am here) Family is everything. I thank God for my wonderful husband and three great children. I wish my parents were still here for me to treasure as you treasure yours...I really enjoy your MY dear old friend, keep writing... Annie