Sunday, August 30, 2009

Survival Skills

Back in the 1970's we were a family with young children. The US was experiencing a recession and "fuel shortage scares". There was predictions of a major depression somewhat like the 1930's in the future. We did not know if we would live to see a major depression or what our children might face in their adult lives.
We remember deliberately making some choices to help our children develop some survival skills. Living on a farm gave us the opportunity to buy a cow that provided enough milk for table use. We made our own cheese, cottage cheese and butter. Some of our children learned to milk a cow by hand. My husband taught our sons to fix things by using what we had on hand like bale twine and plow shares. He taught creativity like making a small tool with "junk parts" and a welder. They learned how to fix anything from a small kitchen appliance to the combine. My husband sought out professional electricians, plumbers and mechanics to learn the "how-to's" for many "do-it-yourself" projects.
We baked our own bread using some of the wheat grown in our fields. We grew fruits and vegetables to preserve for winter use. We felt so blessed when the canning jars were filled, apples and corn were dried, the chest freezer held more vegetables and fruits. Potatoes were stored in the cold cellar. We butchered the grass fed beef we raised on our pasture and stashed it away in the freezer. Venison and other game found their way into the freezer or canning jars.
Our daughters learned to make their own clothing. They could also use discarded scraps of fabric to make a book cover, doll clothing, a purse, curtains or whatever they desired.
Today our children are grown and some of them are raising their own families. We are so blessed to see all of them using "survival skills" in one way or another. It may not be in exactly the same ways we did, but we can observe them "making do" with the resources they have on hand. Last evening we dropped in at one daughter's house to find her husband mixing up a bucket of homemade laundry soap. Other daughters make their own bread regularly. Another daughter finds scrap material and designs curtains for her room. They can decorate a cake or design their own decorations or gifts by using available resources.
Our sons know how to repair vehicles or appliances. They can replace a roof, fix the kitchen sink or build a barn by harvesting trees from our woodlot.
Eternal values are still the most important aspects of life, but in a shaky economy, we are blessed to observe grown children knowing "how to make do" or "do without".

Friday, August 14, 2009

Now for the ways we are different. I'm glad we agree on the things that really matter!
1.She says: I like coffee
He says: I prefer tea
2. She says:Hot peppers and onions please
He says: No onions and certainly no hot peppers
3. She says "Open the windows at night for fresh air"
He says "Close the windows, it might get cool or rain during the night."
4. She says: I have kept a diary almost every year since I was 13 years old.
He says: I stopped writing a diary when we got back from our honeymoon on Sept 10, 1965.
5. She says: My best time of day is 9am.
He says: Things start to fall in place for me about 3pm

6. He says: I like to go to bed about 9:30-10pm
She says: I go to bed whenever I get done. It could be 10 or 11 or later
7. He says I squeeze the toothpaste tube at the bottom like it is intended.
She says: I squeeze the toothpaste tube wherever it happens to land in my hand.
8. He says: When I am reading, background music is distracting.
She says: When I am reading, background music is relaxing.
9. He says: I prefer strawberry or vanilla
She says: I like chocolate
10. He says: I like sweet treats
She says: I like salty snacks

11. She says: I like to try new recipes.
He says: I will try most things once, but I prefer Pa Dutch cooking.
12. She says: Money in the checkbook is to pay bills and hang on to as much as possible. The money in my wallet is for spending.
He says: The money in my wallet is to save as long as possible. The checkbook is for spending.
13. She says: I write at least one letter weekly.
He says: I write a letter once in every decade.
14. She says: I do not like to be late or have someone waiting for me.
He says: I do not like to waste time by being too early. And I do not like when I have to wait on someone too long.
15. She says: I can remember at least some phone numbers and birthdates.
He says: I can remember names and faces better.

16. He says: I like to meet new people.
She says: I prefer my old friends and acquaintances.
17. He says: My shoes are either on my feet or in our bedroom.
She says: My shoes are wherever I kicked them off last.
18. He says: I like quick showers
She says: I like a nice, warm, soaking tub bath best.
19. He says: I usually remember where I put things.
She says: I often forget where I put things.
20. He says: I often forget the details when given verbal instructions.
She says: I used to remember details that people told me (but I am losing it)

21. She says: I turn on the lights when I walk in a room.
He says: I turn off the lights when I leave a room.
22. She says: I like new clothes.
He says: I prefer my old well-worn duds
23. She says : I will "shop around" hunting for the "perfect gift".
He says: I will settle for "something" rather than shop around.
24. She says: If I take a nap during the week, it is between 2-4pm.
He says: If I take a nap during the week, it is before 10am.
25. She says: I will print out directions on Map Quest.
He says: I'd rather just find my way somehow.

26. He says: I like when the toliet paper comes off the roll from the top.
She says: Doesn't matter to me which way it comes off. I'm just glad if the last person replaced an empty roll.
27. He says: I like eggs and cereal for breakfast..and served in that order.
She says: I like variety in the breakfast menu.
28. He says: I think there should be at least one calendar and clock in every room of the house.
She says: I think one or two calendars are enough for a house. I'd rather have a phone in every room...and clocks...whatever!
29. He says: I like a place for everything and everything in it's place.
She says: I am somewhat organized in the big picture of things.
30. He says: I like things visible so I can find them.
She says: I hate clutter!

31. She says: I enjoy a librarians and archivists meeting.
He says: I prefer Ag Progress Days.
32. She says: I need to brush my teeth at least once or twice a day.
He says: I brush my teeth whenever I think of it.
33. She says: I like ketsup on chicken corn soup.
He says; Ketsup on what? Ketsup is for eggs, hot dogs or hamburgers!
34. She says: I like to cook a big family dinner.
He says: I cook when I heat food in the microwave.
35. She says: I like a ladies/girls tea party.
He says: I prefer a smorgasbord where there is real food.

36. He says : When I read a book, I read it and there is no reason to read it again.
She says: When I find an especially good book, I may read it several times and enjoy it more each time.
37. He says: I like to get dressed first thing in the morning.
She says: I could easily begin the day in housecoat and slippers (but I don't for his sake)
38. He says: I like ice cream on Sunday night.
She says: I prefer popcorn.
39. He says: "The hay is wet. How soon could you be ready to leave for Niagara Falls for a few days? I'd be ready to leave in an hour or two?
She says: I'd like to plan a trip to Creation Museum sometime next year? I need to write to several friends that live in the area and make some plans to visit etc. I want to plan our visit to fit their schedules, you know. And I need to check out some places on the Web.So we need to begin planning.
40. He says: Do you have my shaver, my sunglasses, my toothbrush etc (after we are driving down the road at the beginning of a trip)
She says: Here's the list. Whatever is on the list is packed.

41. She says: I like a clean towel very day.
He says: I could reuse the same one for a week...(but he doesn't)
42. She says: I like to set the alarm clock when we need to get up earlier than usual. Otherwise I wake up 20 times a night because I am afraid we will oversleep.
He says: I hate alarm clocks. I wake up 20 times in the middle of the night thinking the dumb thing will probably go off soon.
43. She says: I do not like soggy cereal, bread etc. Yuck! I like to eat cereal before the milk makes it soggy.
He says: I like the summer soup my mother made with bread, fresh berries and milk. Yum! I like to jab applesauce into a piece of cake and mix it all together.
44. She says: I like being married to an old man who does not remember receiving the same Father's card from one year to the next.
He says: What card?

our 44th list

Like I said in the previous post:
Marvin & I made up a list of 44 things we agree on and enjoy as part of our 44th wedding anniverary. They are not all necessarily in the order of importance or value to us. There are more..these just came to our minds today.

1. God's Word is the final authority. (This is truly #1)
2. Personal devotions work best for us in the morning.
3. Our church activities come before pleasure/leisure.
4. Family first, but we enjoy our friends too.
5. Honesty pays.
6. Bills need to be paid on time, if possible.
7. Work is not a burden if you enjoy what you are doing.
8. We "slept in" if we stayed in bed until 7am.
9. Spring is our favorite season.
10. We enjoy unexpected company.
11. It is a pleasure to attend grandchildren's programs etc.
12. We both like bargains, rebates & senior discounts
13. We enjoy helping adult children with their projects
14. Christmas is special!
15. We need a Sunday afternoon nap
16. Reading a good book is a favorite activity
17. We like potato chips!
18. Trips are treasured memories!
19. We like when the checkbook is balanced (and there is money left at the end of the month)
20. Chorus programs and hymn sings at church are special inspiration times
21. Watching the sunset on the Pacific ocean
22. Dinner invitations, Sweetheart banquets and the Chinese restaurant's buffet
23. Breakfast, dinner, supper (by the way) go ahead are from Lanc Co.PA
24. Family reunions
25. Marriage vows are for life! Love can last a lifetime too!
26. We like fresh flowers on the table (in season)
27. Ah! remember the 1940's and 1950's
28. The Direct Connect on our cell phone that connects us many times a day
29. We try to take care of our bodies but expect they will be "used up and worn out" when we are done with them.
30. God still hears and answers prayer.
31. Every day is a new beginning.
32. The day of miracles is not over.
33. God forgives and redeems the past.
34. We do not have children to raise or cows to milk every day at this stage of life!
35. Pizza is a good invention that was unknown in our childhood.
36. Raw milk, farm eggs, day old bread, fresh produce seconds and home preserved food are appreciated.
37. We enjoy attending an Old Order Mennonite church service occasionally
38. We look forward to walking all over heaven together and exploring the sights and scenes
39. We enjoy doing service projects when we are able
40. Teaching a Sunday School class
41. Phone calls from children, grandchildren, the twins and others we love
42. We are "country folks" and like it
43. Hearing about the salvation of a lost soul or one who experienced victory in a struggle
44. That we are still married to each other after 44 years of life together.

The next list will be our 44 ways of being different.
Today is our 44th anniversary. We went out for lunch at the China House, our favorite area restaurant.
We worked on some lists that I will include in the next post...if this one goes through correctly. The lists are 44 things we agree on and 44 ways we are different. We are not quite finished with the lists but it was fun to do.
Today our son and daughter-in-law are also celebrating an anniversary, their tenth one.
There is a first for everything! And since this is my first blog, it is a test run. As for frequency and style of new posts, they may be sporatic, mundane or eventful. . There may be commas, exclamation points, question marks or periods. But here goes!