Mom was right.

Well, moms are usually right about a lot of stuff. However, in this instance I am talking about my mother's outlook on "stuff." My mother saved just about everything. An empty peanut butter jar was never such. It was an opportunity waiting to be filled with something. Usually some type of small, set of something, marbles, coins, bears, that her grandchildren loved. Nothing pleased my mother more than pleasing her grandkids.

My mother passed away about 2 1/2 years ago in the spring. My brother, 2 sisters and I did the huge job of divesting the house that summer. Oh, my, what we found. We knew mom was a saver and liked to keep things that might one day have a purpose, what we didn't know was how much of it we would come across in the next few months.

I took on the job of clearing out many closets. In these closets I would find bags, usually Target bags, filled up and tied with a knot. In each was a different set of something. One would contain about 50-60 margarine containers. Another might have 20 baby food jars and yet another would have 10 or so clean, empty ketchup bottles. I should also point out that my mother was a pre-school teacher and would, indeed find uses for much of this. However, she really hadn't taught for about 3 years before she passed away.

My sister had the foresight to call the art teacher at the school down the street. The woman was beside herself with joy over the bags of treasures she acquired at the house. She loved all the clean, ready to use art materials. I know mom was smiling down from heaven during that transaction!

My mother was raised on a farm and taught to adhere to the old adage, "Waste not, want not." This has gotten lost in our society. This post is not to tell you to save every little scrap, but merely to look at what you are throwing away. Could it have another purpose? Does it really need to sit in a landfill for eternity? Could it be used to store marbles instead? Could it be donated or made into something else?

One last thing, at the grocery, pay attention to what you are buying. Is the container recyclable? Glass and metal can be recycled over and over and over. . . try to buy items packaged in them.

Have a great week. Stay green--Teresa


Harmony said...

Thanks for sharing this sweet memory. I agree with you that we have turned into a much too disposable society. I do pay attention when I purchase things. If they have too much packaging I just won't buy them.

I am not sure where I learned about this site: where Dave chronicles everything he throws away for a year. If you haven't already heard of it, you might find it interesting.

Anonymous said...

This was a great blog! I often work closely with children, and having empty containers, etc. on hand makes for great art projects, and lots of fun. Plus, recycling is a must.