I am enjoying a quiet Sunday afternoon. Tootie Mae is sawing logs on the couch. Could be, she wore out working on her latest toy, that, of which was created by me. Pam, a reader of The Brazil Times supplied me with a helpful solution to Toots chewing problem. The one where she plays surgeon and operates on every store bought toy that I add to her blessings.
Pam had the same problem with her dog. She created a toy from a strong denim leg of a pair of old blue jeans. Her little female schnauzer loves it. Thanks for the tip Pam. I appreciate that. Toot found hers enjoyable as well.
This past week I spent a lot of time trying to catch up the work outside. Yes, without watching, Mary's garden is starting to show growth. Now it is plain to see that the weeds are gone and none too soon.
I accomplished a lot, considering the head of the hoe kept leaving the handle. I was on a roll, doing well, dug deep, row by row until the garden suited the picture that this old girl expected.
I ask myself, "How did I do, in regard to the job?" I wondered what my dad would think of the continual infusion of life and careful attention that Paul and I bring to the old place. I believe that he would say, "Thanks kids, I like that! Now take time to rest a spell beneath the old oak tree, for old time sake."
Moreover, about that faulty hoe, bring me my can of nails and the hammer and I will fix it for you and put a hone on the edge. A twice bent nail will do the trick. If you can't find the can, check out the locust posts along the line of the pasture. I think I sunk and bent a bunch of 'em there."
He always quoted that old truth, "A poor man has poor ways" with a great smile on his face and he truly believed in "Waste not - Want not." I believe he nailed that.
I think that, if he were with us today, he'd know immediately where we went wrong with this economy and could give us some pointers on how to survive it. My father was going green before green was cool.
Green was good for him. Even his work clothes were green. Frank Bayer of Bayer's Clothing Store and later, Barney Podkin, proprietor of Brazil Store of Values kept dad well stocked with the work shirts and pants. Both saw to it that the pants were altered to a 26-inch inseam. No walking on the cuffs for my father. That would have shortened the life of the wearing apparel. That would have cost him more of his rainy day dollars that were so hard to come by and precious during the days of the hard times that he knew and endured.
He knew nothing of charge cards, mortgages or consumer loans of any kind.
If he or his family needed something, we got it. If we wanted something that we could do without, we usually waited until a little bit of his hard-earned money had been set aside for another day. If that meant forget it, we did not argue with the boss.
We raised our vegetables, poultry, red meat, white meat, fruit and nuts. Truth is we pigged out three times a day and lingered at the feeding trough longer on Sundays. No one thought to worry about bad cholesterol or cost.
The only thing our mom gripped about was nostrils. We all had a pair of those. Hankies were the only things that we didn't hand down or hand up.
One day I counted the number of people that gave me their hand -me- downs during my early years and I came up with 12 of them, relatives and close friends. I'm still grateful, including, to the one that pointed the fact that she wore them first to my classmates.
Yard sales weren't popular. Mother's gave freely to other mothers that could use the clothing that their children outgrew. Others did the perfect thing to do in those days -- barter -- food, furniture, school books, clothing and more-people caring about and sharing people.
Adult relatives with dresses that were far too full in the fanny and front for a skinny kid like me smooth them out on my bed and promised that I would fill out.
They are dead now and long been, and the clothes are lost in history's heap. I am no longer waiting for those improvements the donors spoke of. The baggy organdy frocks with bows and darts and snaps that smart wouldn't cover half of me today.
My parents were the king and queen of recycling, but the dresses on my back were too much for them.
The savings had been set aside. That year, when the Sears & Roebuck order was delivered to our house on Elm Street, $2.98 (full price of the trio) worth of the prettiest dresses that I ever owned was in the package. The canary yellow bodice of the dress with a diagonal stripe that matched the plaid skirt in vivid fall colors was a hit with me, a perfect fit.
The soft green corduroy vest and skirt set fit like a mitten, roomy and warm. The floral print creation embellished with eyelet trim and whitest white sash to tie brought tears to my eyes. The fashion show took place in the family bedroom. A twist and turn, a curtsy, and then three! My gratefulness was made known without a word uttered.
Last week Paul Baby purchased me a very nice pair of taupe crop pants at Sears. He said, "The business is all taken care of. I had a little extra money on hand and decided to buy you something you have been wanting for awhile. You've been a good girl. Imagine that! The style show was revisited. My gratefulness was made known without a word uttered!
Three of my favorite people smiled. God is good.
I can be reached at 446-4852 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.