Changing times and life’s lessons

I am one of those people. Yes, I frequently speak of “the good old days”. Remember? Do you remember when? When we lived in a less disposable world, when if something was broke you fixed it and didn’t run to the nearest big box store and just replace it. Do you remember the lessons that were part of everyday life? I do realize some of you are too young to have experienced the “good old days”so I will give you a brief overview. 

In days gone by appliances were repaired not replaced. They were built with good old US steel and were meant to last decades not years. TV’s had tubes, if something was amiss you could buy little number kits to number each slot and tube then take the tubes out, go to the electronics shop where they tested each one then sold you a replacement for the bad ones. In the good old days we old timers didn’t have “recycling” centers we just used items then passed them on to others as hand me downs until there was no life left in that item.

Shopping was much different back then. None of this plastic bags that fall over or rip spilling your groceries-we had brown bags. I miss brown bags. They were large enough to cut the ends out and use to roll cookie dough out, cover school books, make craft items heck we even cooked with them. You young folks may never know the awesome turkeys that were cooked in brown bags. The meat stayed so juicy yet the skin was just crispy enough to melt in your mouth. The oven stayed clean too as the grease splatters were contained. Yes, brown bags were so much better for our environment too as they would compost where as these plastic bags of today pollute our Environment by blowing around, wrapping in trees, power lines or end up in our lakes and oceans causing death to our sea life.

I could go on for hours about the good old days but I’ll stop and get to the point. Today I had an opportunity to share with my youngest son Caleb some of the “good old days”ingenuity. The little green giants throttle cable broke and his immediate reaction was-what are we gonna do call dad? Of course dad is miles away working to get firewood and water to the cabin so I responded to my son in the same way I was taught by my PawPaw to deal with situations. I explained to him we needed to assess the situation before doing anything. We had a tool box and the ever present baling wire so instead of calling for help-maybe we should first see if we could help ourselves. 

Tearing into a throttle assembly in the woods may not seem like much fun for others-especially at 20 degrees out but for me it was one of the best days I’ve had in a long while. Finding the broken cable, asking Caleb his opinion, listening to his ideas and finally coming to the conclusion we did not have the needed parts to fix but that did not mean we were down and out. My son learned a few lessons today. He learned where there’s a will there is always a way. He also learned that teamwork will move you forward when all seems lost. We ended up using a piece of wire to extend the cable, he controlled the right side steering and I controlled the throttle and left side steering. It was a temporary resolution that worked to get us out of the woods and to our truck. 

We headed into town and no parts could be found anywhere that I could makeshift a throttle but we did find a young man in a local repair shop who attempted to solder the cable. It didn’t work but once again I kept things calm and we worked a way out to hold the even shorter throttle cable with pliers and make it functional. Caleb then operated the throttle using care to heed my directions and I used the joysticks to steer-we made it home safely in the dark and cold where tomorrow he and his dad will work together and find a more permanent fix until the part can be replaced. It was a great day. My son learned so many lessons he will carry throughout his life and we built a memory that will last a lifetime.

I hope my ramblings leave you with food for thought. That perhaps when your in a frustrating situation you too will remember that just because something is broken the world hasn’t ended. Be it a piece of machinery, a person or a relationship-broken doesn’t mean you replace it it simply means you find a way to repair it and make it whole again.

God Bless you all and thank you for allowing me to come into your lives if even for a brief moment.

2 thoughts on “Changing times and life’s lessons”

  1. Great moment to share with you son. I was born at the end of the good old days but my father was born during the Great Depression and has instilled in me the value and ability to “live on a shoe string” and repurpose just about everything. It has served me well. Thank you for reminding me of this. Have a wonderful weekend.

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