Thursday, 12 July 2012

Lost in translation

Have you entered my new "Caption This!" Monday contest yet? Well, what are you WAITING for? There's a $10 Tim Hortons Gift Card up for grabs! Go quick and enter now!  The contest ends at midnight!

This morning, I was watering my neighbours' plants because the lucky dogs are away in St. Maarten!  Anyway, I was standing there with the hose and I noticed something yellow to my left on the fence.  On closer examination, I saw that it was a piece of plastic, knotted around a nail in the fence and a loop was made at the end.  I looked around trying to figure out what it would be for and I realized that in the place of the long piece that attaches to the gate thingy (you know, that piece that locks in to close the gate...what the HECK is that called?), there was a nail.  The thingy (OMG I can't think of the name) had obviously fallen off and they replaced it with a nail...the yellow plastic was a loop to keep the gate open.  "Hmm.." I thought, "what a neat improvisation!" 

I got back to watering the plants and saw that over where their baby trees were, there were old hockey sticks being used as posts to hold the baby trees in place.   My neighbour's parents take care of their daughter a couple of times a week and when they are here, the father is constantly working...cutting the grass, watering the plants and grass, pottering around. 

Seeing these little fix ups made me think about the father's generation and how they were so creative in getting stuff done.  They came from poor backgrounds, where the luxuries of buying a new gate thingy (GRRR!!!  WHAT IS IT CALLED??!) or pretty poles to hold up their trees were simply not in the cards.  I'm sure when they were little, something like a bike was always second hand and lasted through at least 4 or 5 children.  I'm also sure that if a pedal broke, a piece of cardboard would replace it, not a shiny new one from Walmart or Canadian Tire!  Food was never wasted and clothes were worn until they were see-through!

But my point and the moral of my little story is that we are going to lose that creativity.  Hubster and I simply replace what is broken.  Our kids are even worse.  There is no thinking about how to make something that is broken work again...we just buy a new one.  Bikes don't last through ONE kid, let alone 4 or 5 and toys get broken and tossed in the trash rather than sitting down and working out how to fix it.  That kind of makes me sad.  I mean, it's nice to know that we have the means to replace something, but we no longer value things like the older generations did.  Everything is so easy come, easy go.  In gaining the ability to replace something easily, we have also lost the creativity, logic and pure productivity of figuring out how to fix something.  Our kids will never have that "handy man" ability.  Sadly, they will lose the option of even calling in a handy man at some point, because unless the older generations pass down that knowledge, it will be lost.

My Mom knits.  Not half as well as my Nanny B did, but she can knit fairly well.  Mom taught my sister and I how to knit when we were little and I can knit up a MEAN scarf...but that's it.  Knitting will be almost obsolete with the passing of my Mom's generation.  Another basic skill that is taken for granted.  It's not important, but it's SO important.  Know what I mean?

Anyway, those are the thoughts in my head this afternoon.  Sometimes, I wish we could go back to simpler times.  I betcha people were MUCH smarter then.  They may not have known how to program a computer or make millions selling stocks, but boy they could fix gate thingies (GRR!) and bikes and things!




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1 comment:

Shayna said...

A latch??

We are pretty handy around our place and often come up with ways to improvise a fix for things. In fact, I really think we are too handy sometimes. We have to do everything ourselves when there are so many times I want to say (and have) can't we just hire somebody to do this? It's not like we have money to throw away but time is money too and sometimes I'd rather spend my money on hiring someone and save my time for me or my family!

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