Not Easy Bein’ Green

OldLadyfingerWhen at a store checkout the young cashier suggested to an older woman that she should bring her own shopping bags in future because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.  The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.”  The cashier responded, “That’s our problem today.  Your generation did not care enough to save the environment for future generations.”  She was right … our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, pop bottles and beer bottles to the store.  The store sent them back to the plant to be washed, sterilized and refilled so it could use the same bottles over again.  Very literally, they really were recycled.  We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new one … and replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing the whole thing away just because the blade got dull.  But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every shop and office building. We walked when we had to go someplace and didn’t climb into a 300 horsepower machine every time we had to travel two blocks.  But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw away kind.  We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 2200watts … wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in those days.  Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new designer clothing from the mall.  We didn’t even have malls, but that young lady was right, neither did we have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV or radio in the house, not a TV in every room … and the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief, not a giant screen the size of Wyoming.  In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand be cause we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us.  When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not polystyrene or plastic bubble wrap.  Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn a gallon of gas just to cut the lawn.  We used a push mower that ran on human power.  We exercised by working, so we didn’t need to go to a health club and run on treadmills that operate on electricity.  But she was right.  We didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank water from a fountain or a tap when we were thirsty, instead of demanding a plastic bottle flown in from another country.  We accepted that a lot of food was seasonal and didn’t expect to have out of season products flown thousands of air miles around the world.  We actually cooked food that didn’t come out of a packet, tin or plastic wrapping, and even washed our own vegetables and chopped our own salad.   But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people caught a train or a bus to wherever they were going and kids rode their bikes to school or walked, instead of turning their mothers into a 24-hour taxi service.  We had one electrical socket in a room, not an entire bank of plugs to power a dozen appliances … and we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza place.  But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we oldies were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

Please refer this article to another selfish older person who needs a lesson in conservation from some smart-ass young nosewipe that doesn’t understand life actually existed on earth before they got here.   Just remember:  You don’t want to make old people mad.  We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take an awful lot to piss us off anymore!

(Original source unknown)

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Thanksgiving Gravy

TG-CabinFirst, let me categorically state that everyone has something to be thankful for, even if it’s only still being around to air their latest gripe and have somebody handy to do eye rolls! If my friend Bob could have seen me steering my way through our Thanksgiving feast he would have said, “Look at him, sittin’ there fat and happy!” and he would have been right. If one can strut while occupying a chair, clutching an overburdened fork in one hand and a gravy-soaked dinner roll in the other, then I was strutting.

The reason my chest was puffed up bigger than the turkey’s wasn’t so much the incredible meal, meticulously prepared by my incredible bride of some thirty-six Thanksgivings, or even the fact that I was surrounded by a small gaggle of kids and grandkids, only one of whom managed to spill anything that would repattern the tablecloth. It wasn’t even having my Mom, now easing her way toward ninety-seven, raising a glass of wine with us and providing a toast in her parents’ native Slovak. It was something much bigger, yet so small I don’t think anyone else even noticed.

Vigi had heaped the table with every imaginable Thanksgiving delight, to the point of overflow onto a convenient sideboard. With appropriate gratitude offered to the Lord and before I could even warn my taste buds, I found myself the salivating recipient of the turkey platter … Read the rest of this entry

A True Jerseyan

New-JerseyI am from New Jersey. I sometimes punctuate my sentences with certain words that outsiders may find offensive. I say, “Yo!” and “Youz”… often. I never had school on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur. I don’t pump my own gas, I know what real pizza tastes like and I understand that a bagel is much more than a roll with a hole in the middle.

I judge people by what exit they get off the Parkway and navigate a traffic circle or jughandle with attitude. All good nights must end at a diner … preferably with cheese fries and a shake. That long sandwich is called a sub not a hoagie or, worse yet, a hero and I wash it down with soda, not pop.

I don’t go to the beach, I go down the shore … and boardwalk brawls or getting hit in the head with a stray football are just part of the atmosphere. I drink lots of cawfee. I know that 65mph actually means 80. Most of my life, I’ve lived within ten minutes of a mall. “Reaction time” is how long it takes to hit the horn after the traffic light turns green. When someone cuts me off they get “the finger” AND the horn … and they expect it. I am from New Jersey and guess I always will be, no matter where I live.

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The House On Harrison Street

Haunted-House---McNaughtonIt was a time when ghosts and goblins were real, penny candy was still just a penny and holidays like Halloween were an entire season, not just a single day.  Any kid who didn’t have a haunted house in his neighborhood probably also missed out on Three Musketeers candy bars, wax lips, chewy little Coke bottles filled with sugary syrup and those tooth-snapping colored dots on skinny strips of paper.  The wide-eyed trio toeing the edge of the curb, anxiously searching every window of the creaky old house across the street, had missed none of these things.

JoJo had a problem saying his “L’s” so lemon would come out “yemon” and his treatment of yellow was a thing of beauty!  Lenny had a limp, since he’d been born with one leg slightly shorter than the other, and was a frequent recipient of the sort of kindness often bestowed upon any eight year old perceived as being different by his peers. He sort of tagged along with the other two because they didn’t seem to notice … at least they never said anything.

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I Wish You Enough

goodbyesWhile I try to maintain BC Nuts as original writing, once in a while something catches my eye that cries out to be shared.  This description of a brief encounter by Robert Perks is one of those somethings that touched me:

Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter’s departure had been announced.  Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said, “I love you and I wish you enough.”  The daughter replied, “Mom, our life together has been more than enough.  Your love is all I ever needed.  I wish you enough, too, Mom.”  They kissed and the daughter left.  The mother walked over to the window where I sat.  Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry.

I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?”  “Yes, I have,” I replied.  “Forgive me for asking but why is this a forever good-bye?”  “I am old and she lives so far away.  I have challenges ahead and the reality is the next trip back will be for my funeral,” she said.  “When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, ‘I wish you enough.’ May I ask what that means?”  She began to smile.  “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations.  My parents used to say it to everyone.” Read the rest of this entry

That Squirrely Feeling

Flying-SquirrelThe exterminator just left.  So did several hundred of my hard earned dollars.  It turns out that, for the past 3 or 4 months, I’ve been sharing my studio with a flying squirreltwo such creatures, actually!  I’d been hearing the padding of paws and general rattling around inside an enclosed space between my dormer and the roof, especially in the wee small hours of the morning.  With this winter’s generous helping of ice and snow, there was no way to get a ladder up to look for an entry point outside and I wasn’t excited about tearing down pieces of wooden tongue-in-groove material looking for livestock from the inside, so I waited.

Not knowing what we were dealing with, but with a strong consensus of the ‘experts’ toward squirrels, today the entry points were discovered and equipped with one-way doors … once out, Bonnie and Clyde can’t get back in.  After some vigorous thumping and bumping on ‘their’ walls by our human assault team, one quickly exited behind the other, sat on the roof for a few seconds giving us scornful squirrel looks … then, with a running start, glided gracefully together to a nearby tree where they Read the rest of this entry

All In The Touch

GirlDown-DrainAlong with all the other attributes that make them so desirable, persons of the feminine persuasion possess a very special touch, whether soothing the cheek of a crying infant or wiggling the stubborn lid off a jar of applesauce.  It’s a genetic gift that guys just don’t get …  one that’s involved with thinking and reasoning rather than with simply grunting and pulling things apart.

This gift is most likely related to the same gene that enables a woman to find the keys, glasses, pens and other objects a guy doesn’t see when he’s staring straight at them, because of the ‘kill and fetch’ bone that God stuck into his head instead … back in the apple and snake days of the original garden.  While the female of the species has evolved through many centuries, men have managed to maintain pretty much the same hammer and chisel mentality.

Take, for example, our chronically clogged sink drain that continually threatened to swamp the bathroom and drown its inhabitants during a simple tooth brushing.  I poured about every drain cleaner known to man down there, including a few not commercially available.  Read the rest of this entry