OPINION

September Journey with Phyllis Buell

Syracuse Journal-Democrat

Lessons Relearned

Living "on my own" has caused me to relearn some skills I haven't had to use for eight and a half years.

Providing food for myself hasn't been a problem to date. I've been gifted a lot of things I like to eat by family and friends. I hadn't better get used to it because it probably won't go on forever.

Grandsons Clayton and Dustin have decreed I need to back into the parking spot in front of my apartment instead of just driving in - like any "normal" person would do.

Their reasoning is I can see better when I drive out. I have had to relearn my backing up skills again. I have done as little of that as possible in recent years. I can handle backing up  - but they had better not decide I need to parallel park!     That isn't going to happen!

New skills. Old skills. We need to keep learning no matter what stage of life we claim.

 I thought I had learned that "young' people in today's world don't really want the "things" we have treasured in our lifetime.

Guess I thought maybe some of my younger family members might have changed their minds with time. 

They haven't!

Crystal and china have been permanently replaced by plastic and paper in their homes.

One use and in the trash they go. No washing, no storing - no problems.

 When we moved to Lincoln, I got "rid" of everything but the things I treasured most. I thought I would share them with my children and my granddaughters and grandsons someday.

Well - someday is here and they have politely, but firmly refused my treasure once more.

O.K. I remember now. I won't forget again - maybe.

No more "stuff."

But - I don't want them to ask in years to come "Whatever happened to . . . ? Do you still have it?"

You see - I remember doing that with my own mother - and she had already tossed it a long time ago. She didn't really keep anything she hadn't used in the last week or so. She was a "tosser." Maybe that is why I turned out to be a "keeper."

I admire this minimalist view of living for the most part. I'm sure life is simpler if you don't burden yourself with "stuff" that needs dusting, special handling, careful washing, polishing, etc, etc, etc.

If that time that would be spend doing all of the above is spend with family, doing things they can all enjoy, everyone is a winner.

My granddaughter-in-law, Brianna Buell, a mother of seven homeschools her brood. I'm happy she doesn't have to wash diapers and hang them out to dry in all kinds of weather. Disposable diapers are great. That saves time for many of the great things she enjoys with her family. They do all kinds of interesting things together such as regular visits to the zoo and many, many library "runs.'

They don't "do" fast food very often and all of the older siblings are well versed in "scratch" cooking and baking.

Paper and plastic versus crystal and china?

I know which one Brianna would choose.