What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

22 January 2011

They're Called the Greatest Generation for a Reason

There's a little expression I've taken to using lately, that I'm sure Chad is getting tired of: "If my grandma can do it, so can I." This first came up on New Year's Day when we ran out of soap for the dishwasher. I was muttering about needing to go to Family Dollar to get some more, but then had an epiphany that I have soap for hand-washing my dishes sitting right there on the sink already. Ta-daa! No money or walk to the store needed (although I have no objections to walking to the store).

We're still not real clear on why my
sister points at her nose. Nor why we all
feel compelled to join in. But Grandma
refuses to participate in the madness.
She's always been the wise one.
You see, a few years ago my grandparents had a refit of their kitchen. They had some gorgeous cabinets installed, but the trade-off was that there was no room for a dishwasher. Fine, they decided; we lived most of our lives without a dishwasher, so we can finish our lives that way. And so my grandparents did the dishes together every evening for the rest of my grandfather's life (which was the cutest thing you've ever seen, by the way), and my grandma continues to do the same now, with my sister to help her. And as of three weeks ago, I also do the dishes every evening. It turns out, for me at least, that the hand-washing method is far superior to the dishwasher method, anyway-- the dishes get cleaner faster, and it uses less water & soap. Plus, with only two people in the house, it takes days to get the dishwasher full, which is just icky.

My other major "like my grandparents" change came with my forsaking tissues for hankies. Chad needed new hankies anyway, so I bought some for both of us while I was buying. One of my best purchases ever, I must say-- no need to race to the bathroom for a square of toilet paper every time my nose starts dripping, because I already have the hankie in my pocket. And I kind of feel like I've brought my DNA full circle, because...

... many years ago, I overheard a conversation between the adults in my mum's family; they were discussing the merits of hankies v tissues. My mum's younger brother was apparently the leader in the change to tissues; he said something along the lines of, "I knew that I'd be in trouble for not carrying a hankie, so I started carrying a hankie and a Kleenex. I've just always thought that blowing my nose on something and sticking it in my pocket is gross." (I will note that this conversation took place a few years before my aunt & uncle were blessed with a baby. I bet his standards of what is "gross" changed pretty quickly after that.)

I don't really see a gross factor to hankies, because I'm a runner. I've wiped snot, sweat, and tears off of my face with the nearest thing available for years. I've also had to use all manner of port-a-loos, up to and including peeing on the side of the road in the middle of a run, for goodness' sake. (A county road, where no one could see me-- I do have some standards.) My definition of "gross" has evolved quite a bit. So to tuck a piece of cloth into my pocket with my snot safely folded inside it, and later throw it into the wash, bothers me not at all.

So, I live in the land of My Gran Does It This Way, besides having a weekend cottage in What My Mum Always Said. I think I'm driving my husband crazy, but really, what's the point of having two older generations of people to learn from if I'm not bothering to learn anything?

What habits of your parents/grandparents/etc. have you picked up? Or are you blazing your own completely different trail?


Carole Anne Carr said...

I'm old enough to be the mum and the gran and loving every minute of it!

Su said...

Ah, so you're the one passing on the wisdom! Good for you! :)

Madeleine said...

LOL! My mum used to use soap to clean her teeth. Yuck I wouldn't go that far. You sound a very resourceful lady :O)

Su said...

Ick! Me neither! I draw the line long before there. :) Thanks!

Pearl said...

I'm quite a practical little gal myself and do a lot of what my mom and grandma did, right down to using handkerchiefs. :-) Of course, I do a lot of what they didn't do as well, such as pedicures...

It's a mixed bag, being practical. :-)


Su said...

Very true. My gran would never buy running shoes every six months, that's certain. :)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Yes, but every six months will help keep your arches and ankles healthy. That is something I'm sure she'd approve of. Thanks for coming by my blog and commenting. It means a lot. Gypsy says HI.

Su said...

Fair enough. I finally hit the right button (or something) on Google Friend Connect to go follow the people who were already following me. :) Hello, Gypsy!

Charlie's Church of Christ said...

the hankie is a lost art. I have been handwashing for about a year and a half now and we are closing on a house next week that has a dishwasher - so stoked!

Su said...

I've discovered why my gran always ironed them, that's for sure, and the secret to folding them neatly. :) Congratulations on your new dishwasher!

Timbra said...

susan. . . have you considered running "barefoot?" um, this has less to do with your post and more to do with your "running shoes every six months" comment after. . . http://www.rachelcoleman.com/2010/09/28/set-your-feet-free/

Su said...

I have considered it, but minimalist shoes don't suit my body type. I have to wear either corrective shoes or an orthotic.

Rachael Harrie said...

Very funny post, and what a great attitude! My parents refuse to use a dishwasher, they actually had one taken out! I'd do the same except...washing dishes ranks very high on my list of most-hated chores ever!!! And with two kids, there sure are a lot of dishes :P



Su said...

Oh, yeah, I bet! Our dishwasher would certainly fill up faster if we had two small people helping to fill it. :)