Monday, February 2, 2009


Ah, my dear blog visitors, I feel a ramble coming on,-- you know, when I wax poetic and talk about the way it used to be? Every week on “trash day” when I look down the street at all the trash receptacles waiting for the rounds of the garbage trucks, I think of the way it used to be on the farm where I grew up. Everything, yes, every thing was used in some way. Potato peelings, apple cores and such were tossed over the fence into the field for the birds. Table scraps were fed to the dogs or other varmints. Papers and magazines were burned in the trash barrel, except for old Sears and Roebuck catalogs, which were put to use in the outhouse (sigh), sad but true. Corn cobs were the fuel for my mother’s cook stove. Worn out clothing was pieced into quilts or comforters, or torn into strips and made into rag rugs. Any glass container was washed and saved for mother’s use when making jelly or canning vegetables and fruit from the garden. Any cooking pot or pan that had sprung a leak was immediately turned into a flower pot. At the back of the lot, behind the machine shed, was an old round water tank that had sprung a leak, and into it we tossed odd pieces of metal. In all the years of my growing up, I don’t think it ever got full. I passed the local Goodwill Store a day or two after Christmas, and was amazed to see a line of cars at the back dropping off old stuff---which of course had been replaced with new stuff for Christmas. We must have our stuff. In the present economic climate, it might be good if we all began to practice a little more thrift and weren't quite so trashy.


  1. That's exactly the way I grew up, Bev. Today, they'd be sending workers from the Peace Corps to help us with our plight, but it really wasn't a bad life at all. It's amazing how little you can get by with when your belly is full and you're surrounded by loving family.

  2. Me too. Nothing was wasted when I was a child. The next door neighbours had a large lot with a chicken run and they hung a bucket on the dividing fence into which went all our leftovers and peelings. Adult sized clothes were cut down into clothes for children. Everyone grew their own vegetables in the backyard. I lived close to a facility where the mounted police horses were stabled. What a joy it was for the gardeners when the horses trotted by on their daily exercises. Out came the shovels and buckets and onto the garden went the (ahem) product of the horses' grassy diet. Life was good then. There was no waste and joy was to be found in the simplest things in life.
    I loved reading your ramble, Bev. I hope a lot more of your friends see it.

  3. Bev I have so enjoyed reading about your childhood which was very like mine - my grandma used to bake her own bread and put it on the windowsill too cool - and when we visited usually on a Sunday Grandad used to get rhubarb from the garden and we would have a twist of sugar to dip it in. Grandad used to follow the horses too with a bucket and shovel lol Lovely days!!!

  4. I am the eldest of 7 children and we knew how to make do and mend. One of my Mother's favourite sayings throughout our childhood was: Poverty is the Mother of invention, and she certainly practiced that making our clothes, and making a nourishing meal out of almost nothing, baking her own bread. When a hole or tear appeared in a bed sheet she would cut it in half and then sew the two good edges together to make a 'new' sheet.

    We saved our veg peelings for a day or two and then we children were allowed to take them to the pig farmer who rewarded us with a penny.
    We also got a half penny for taking cleaned bleach bottles and milk bottles back to the shop.

    (Making do makes me think of a very sorry Christmas when the Christmas tree set on fire and we had to 'repair' it - ah but that's another story.)

    I'm not so clever as my Mum but I certainly recycle every possible thing I can.

    Oh Bev I so love your rambles, keep 'em coming.

  5. so much of what we now consider trash is actually great material for crafting with....