At some time or another in the distant past, some wise person made a statement about minding what you currently have, so you won’t be short of it or be forced to go without at a later date, or, put more succinctly, “waste not, want not.”
Most of the people I have known who survived the the Great Depression developed a keen understanding of how to economize in every part of their lives. I think that a lot of the reality TV hoarders are a result of this type of upbringing as they just cannot bear to throw anything away in fear they may need it one day.
Ol’ Dutch may have a touch of “hoarderitis” in him and I think I came about it in an honest manner as my father -- a child of harder times -- tends to keep a lot of “stuff” in case he needs it later.
When I was a child, my dad and I would often go to the local landfill , aka the “dump” as it was called in those days, and get the wood scraps that the local mobile home manufacturers threw out each week.
There were thousands of 1x2’s and half sheets of paneling free for the taking. This not only saved all of the local citizens a lot of money but also kept the landfill from having to burn it or bury it.
Now, though, there are laws preventing people from digging through dumps and if you visit your local landfill, you’ll be shocked at how much “good stuff” gets buried every day.
I read that in some environmentally-minded areas, people are actively trying to save good items from the landfills. One program rebuilds bicycles for reuse if they can be saved. Now that’s some good thinking.
Now, don’t think I am as bad as the old men I have known to straighten bent nails for reuse, but I can see the value of a lot of items that other people tend to toss into the landfill chasms of eternity.
This was brought to mind last week when Ol’ Dutch and Miss Trixie went to Oklahoma to retrieve my things that have been in storage since the Wicked Witch of the East took her leave of me.
I was suddenly surrounded by some of my own “priceless treasures” such as an old WWI helmet, 3,000 duck decoys, broken things that I might fix in the future and boxes of parts to long forgotten machines.
Now I am sure that nine years ago some of the items that I put into storage had significant value and even in a mind as lost as Ol’ Dutch seems to have at times, there was a use intended for them at some future date. But today, for the life of me, I just cannot think what that use might be for some of the items found.
That does not mean that I will throw them away because if a younger Dutch thought he might need such things in the future, an older Dutch is gonna respect the savvy wisdom of youth and keep all of them.
One area, though, that I prefer tossing rather than keeping is in the refrigerator. That is a lesson I hope Trixie learns soon. Just yesterday morning, she fixed me a beautiful, fluffy omelet filled with gorgeous vegetables. When I cut into it, though, a spicy runny sauce came flowing out. “What did you put into this?” I inquired not so softly.
To which, she answered that she had some leftover queso which needed to be thrown out and she thought she could save some of it by feeding it to me.
She is her momma’s daughter for sure and getting more like her every day. And while Ol’ Dutch is good with saving as much as we can on our journey through life, adding ingredients to any dish at the point of spoilage may be crossing the line.
Sometimes we need to just let go as I don’t even like queso.
Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV or hike daily. His email is [email protected] Additional news can be found at www.troutrepublic.com or on Twitter at TroutRepublic.