December 10, 2013

Something Worth Saving


I was thinking the other day about Tupperware. The reason I thought of it is my southern beau borrowed a reusable plastic food storage container from a friend and later disposed of it. I saw some similar ones at the grocery store and bought them as a replacement for our friend.

It was so easy to grab a neat stack of plastic bowls with perfectly fitting lids. I thought about how kids today wouldn't believe there was ever a time you couldn't buy such things at the grocery store. I'm not even that old and I remember a time when Tupperware only came from parties.

Then I think back to my grandmothers and how it must have seemed to them. Their versions of reusable plastic food storage containers were cottage cheese cartons and Cool Whip tubs. And sometimes those brown Country Crock butter bowls.

After growing up in the 1920s and 30s, it wouldn't have made any sense to throw away those sorts of useful containers after just one use. Same went for plastic bread bags and aluminium foil. I can remember my great-grandmother washing bread bags and upending them to dry on her kitchen faucet.

Just recently I caught myself rinsing off a square of tin foil and had to chuckle because I know my grandma would be proud.

Wasting anything just wasn't an option to the older generations of my family. On Thanksgiving my cousin shared a story of how my grandparents would scoop the bathwater out of the tub after she had been bathed and use it to water their plants. I remembered a similar habit: my grandpa showering over a plastic bucket to collect water for the same purpose.

I'm not sure that I want to go to those lengths, but I do believe there should be a balance of some sort. What if we get so used to wasting, disposing, and throwing everything away that we begin to do the same thing with people?

It's so easy to get into the grooves of life, going about the motions of our day. I might do a small kind act for a stranger and pat myself on the back. But what about those other people...the ones we know who feel sad and alone, the ones who get on our nerves, the ones we just refuse to take the time for...what about our actions sends them the message that they are worth saving?

**Author's Note: Recently, someone I love very much was hurt because they thought something I wrote on this blog was directed at them. That couldn't be further from the truth. This blog is just a place for me to share my heart...all the words of wisdom I might dish out are usually intended for myself. I certainly need all the wisdom I can get! If something I write strikes you in a way that makes you feel I'm pointing a finger or trying to send a message to you, I assure you that is not the case. Thanks for reading and have a happy day! 

 [image used with Creative Commons License  by classic_film (contact)]

5 comments:

  1. Love this post Kate and agree our previous generations were "recycling" before it was cool. I always love reading your blog and feel your writing always reflects your genuine heart :)

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  2. My grandmother used to save ziploc bags and wash them out and hang them to dry and I thought it was so weird!! It is true that generations before us were way better at saving things and reusing them. my mom actually refuses to buy gladware, etc. because she can use the butter container, etc. instead.

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  3. My mother has a huge collection of old containers. And got mad when Daddy threw away some because the collection got so big.

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Lay it on me y'all!