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A Keeper

I grew up in the fifties with practical parents -- a mother, God

Love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it.

She was the original recycle queen, before they had a name for it...

A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones.

Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends

lived barely a wave away. I can see them now,

Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Mom in a house dress,

lawn mower in one hand, dishtowel in the other.

It was the time for fixing things -- a curtain rod, the kitchen

radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress.

Things we keep.

It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that

re-fixing, reheating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful.

Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you

knew there'd always be more.

But then my mother died, and on that clear summer's night, in the

warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that

sometimes there isn't any 'more.'

Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes

away...never to return.

So...while we have it...it's best we love it.....and care for

it.....and fix it when it's broken.....and heal it when it's sick.

This is true.....for marriage.....and old cars.....and children

with bad report cards.....and dogs with bad hips.....and

aging parents.....and grandparents.

We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.

Some things we keep.

Like a best friend that moved away -- or -- a classmate we grew

up with.

There are just some things that make life important, like people

we know who are special.....and so, we keep them close!

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Thanks Ray. I remember walking to school, it took 20-25 minutes to get there. Sometimes we walked beside the street, but if it was hot we walked through the woods as far as we could ( shade). Most Moms were home when we got there. My friend's Mom made me eat peas when I stayed for dinner ( I could not get up from the table til I finished and I did not like canned peas) I don't remember having anything but ice cubes or ice cream in the freezer when I was in grammer school , The freezer was too small. We had neighborhood partys, of course birthdays, but also we had a "May Party" food, dancing with streamers around a May pole, games and fun. All the neighbors knew each other. When, in the winter , we went sleding at the golf course we knew every one there. We played squash in front of the house on the street , marking the bases with chalk. Cars would patiently wait til we got out of there way, they all knew us. We also played hop scotch (?sp) on the street.

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What a great post Ray. I also remember growing up in the "good old days" when my dad worked in the same small town that we lived and all of us came home for lunch. My Mom was a housewife amd my Dad worked at a grinding wheel factory. Our little town had 2 gas stations, a small market and a drug store with a soda fountain. To this day I watch every Andy Griffith show I can and my husband always wonders why the heck I love that show so much - its because it reminds me of my childhood. The town I lived in was almost exactly like Mayberry. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!!!!

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