The Ones Who Will Take the Wheel

A couple of moments that make me feel better about our future and the hands that will be at the wheel…..

We are fortunate in that we are able to record shows we like or watch them with minimal commercials.  However, recently we had something on that we wound up watching with commercials.  We usually mute them, but for some reason one snuck through.  It was one for a medication.

No, not that one.

Thank goodness.

It went on and on, making it seem like life would be so fabulous and beautiful if I took the medication.  Then there came the warnings.  Could cause, might make you feel…..

“What?!?” Cooter exploded.  “Why on earth would someone take a medicine that could KILL YOU?”  He stopped for a moment.  “Wait!  Why did they even make a medicine that could KILL YOU?!”

Exactly.  He walked away, his head-shaking echoing the thoughts in my own head.

This evening our Princess and I were on the road, headed back home.  She was in the backseat reading her book.  We turned onto the main road and wound up following behind this truck.

The truck that was regularly puffing out black smoke on the road in front of us.

The dump-style truck that was regularly puffing out black smoke on the road in front of us.

As it picked up speed a puff of black smoke rose up from the pipe above the passenger side door.  I continued following the driver as a song I knew came on the radio.

“Is that completely necessary?” our Princess piped up from the back seat.

For a moment I wondered just how loud I’d been belting out that song.  Then I wondered what the characters in her book had done.  My confusion led to enough of a pause that she questioned me again.

“That black smoke up there–is it necessary?  Why do some trucks do that?”

I could have made something up, and I think I might have–I said it had to do with the kind of truck and the exhaust and the whatnot.  My girl crossed her arms and looked thoroughly disgusted.

“Seriously?  It’s just making more work for the poor trees.”

Oh, bless her.

“It’s like they don’t even care.”

“So, this is a problem?” I asked her.  She nodded.  “Okay, so what do you think we should do?”

She didn’t pause for a second.  “Make and drive solar-powered cars.  Only they need to be able to save up power too so we can drive at night.”

She blinked, and then went back to reading her book.

And that right there.

The young ones are paying attention.  They are wondering why things are being done the way they are done.  They are setting out to be good stewards–of their bodies, of this planet, of everything.

Let’s don’t mess this up, y’all.  We need them and their good ideas and strong convictions.

We need their passion.  And their hearts.

Love to all.

The Original Recycling

I finally got organized and stored my batteries in these rice jars.

I finally got organized and stored my batteries in these rice jars.

Those jars right there?  The ones holding the batteries?  Those make me very, very happy.  Recently I decided to clean off and re-organize my cookbook bookshelf in my kitchen.  I was especially tired of the batteries rolling around out of their packaging all over one of the shelves.  Because, you know, that’s where everyone stores their batteries–on the bookshelf with their cookbooks.

I was trying to decide what to do with them when I remembered the rice containers I’d washed up but had yet to recycle.  Perfect!  When I saw them sitting on my shelf like that, it made me smile.  Because I remembered this–

Multitudes of woodworking odd and ends stored in Daddy's building

Multitudes of woodworking odd and ends and hardware stored in Daddy’s building

That’s how my Daddy rolled.  Over the years, as one of these jars was used, Mama would peel off the label, wash it up, and pass it on to Daddy who used it for any number of things out in his building.  For those of you wondering, yes, peanut butter–Reese’s to be exact.  It was the best.  They had come a far cry from the days of Mama buying it in those big tubs with the plastic handles, the stuff that would separate so easily.  Ah, yes, over the years Daddy became quite the connoisseur of peanut butter.

It wasn’t just peanut butter jars Daddy recycled.  He had things in bigger quantities and things that were larger.  That’s what these were for:

This is not a paid endorsement--sigh--if only.

This is not a paid endorsement–sigh–if only.

This bookcase has had many lives too.  It originally sat in our living room when I was little and it was black.  When they moved this into the room I shared with my sister, Mama and Daddy painted it yellow.  That must have been industrial strength stuff.  It’s scary how well it has held its color over the years.  And yes, my Daddy loved his peanuts.  Just like with the peanut butter jars, Daddy would take the washed one out and use it for whatever he needed.

Our old lunchboxes and cookie tins used to store hardware and things he used in fixing cars and lawnmowers or building things with wood

Our old lunchboxes and cookie tins used to store hardware and things he used in fixing cars and lawnmowers or building things with wood

He even used our old lunchboxes and some old cookie tins.  I am pretty sure that horse one and the Charlie Brown one saw me through most of elementary school (we didn’t have middle school back then).  The Walker’s shortbread tin carries me back too.  Daddy loved shortbread.  He even made some one time.  Delicious. I loved picking up a box of it around his birthday or Christmas or just because.  I think that big tin must have come from Sam’s one Christmas.

It occurred to me the other day when my brother, my teenager Auburn, and I were out in the building that some folks might have kept the lunchboxes for the value they might have one day.  I don’t know that these didn’t have some dings or dents already, but regardless, I don’t think it would have ever occurred to Mama and Daddy to save something for later on like that.  One of the things they impressed upon us the most was being a good steward–of the land, of our belongings, and of the people around us.  Taking care of what and who we were lucky enough to have.  They lived simply.  If it didn’t have a use, they usually didn’t keep it.  They were very particular about what they hung on to.

When I was growing up, things didn’t go to waste.  Leftovers were eaten at the next meal or two.  Clothes were handed down to the next sister, and after that usually to a cousin or given to the Salvation Army in the next town over.   We had “give away” days to clean out toys and outgrown clothes and the like.  The pecans that grew in the yard were cracked, cleaned, sugared, and given as Christmas presents to teachers and friends.  I remember we had a spider plant that Mama took cuttings from and carried up to the school for the Halloween Carnival store that raised money for the PTG.  Mama patched our jeans when they tore in the knees.  (This was way back before folks started paying extra for such as that.)  When the jeans started high watering, they were cut off and turned into shorts.  Mama and Daddy were thrifty.  Very little went to waste.

Tonight I am thankful for parents who raised me to aim to be a good steward.  To look around at what’s here before I head to the store to get something new.  My Daddy once told me I only needed three pairs of jeans and dared me to get rid of the rest.  I haven’t gotten quite to that point, but I am trying.  Tonight I am thankful for a reminder of where I came from and who I want to be…..all from some batteries stored in rice containers, cleaned out peanut butter jars, and an old yellow bookcase.  The original recycling.