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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Days Of Old

A wilting white rose next to an embroidered handkerchief

In this day and age, we have come to expect everything to be convenient, prepackaged, and disposable. I think there was much to be said about the way things were done in the past. I think we need to go back to some of the old ways, and slow down, and take a breath.

You may be wondering what prompted me on this subject. It was something as simple as a linen handkerchief. I know many of the younger generations will be scratching their heads trying to figure out what that is. Quite simply put, it is a cloth Kleenex, a hankie as we used to call it back in the horse and buggy days.

I, unfortunately, suffer from year-round allergies. I decided to try and save money and trees by using linen hankies. They are re-usable and feel better on a sore, chapped nose. As I was sitting here folding my fresh clean snot rags. Yes, that is another term for them that I learned from my Dad. It got me thinking about today’s subject.

It was, in fact, my Dad who introduced me to handkerchiefs. As a hard working garbage man, he didn’t have the time to carry around a tissue box, and he couldn’t carry them in his pocket because we all know what happens to a flimsy tissue in a pocket. My Dad kept the bandanna companies in the business. When other kids were buying their Dad’s ties, we were buying our Dad those red and white or blue and white squares of nose blowing freedom.

If you are unsure what a bandanna is. Here is a photo.
a photo of a red, white and blue linen handkerchief or bandanna
These days they come in all kinds of colors and designs.

They are quite versatile. You can use them to blow your nose, wear around your neck, and pull up to protect your nose and mouth, (or in the Wild West to rob a bank.) They are also good to tie around your forehead to keep the sweat out of your eyes. My Dad used them for all of these reasons, well except for the robbing banks part but who knows.

As usual, this post got off track of the subject. Don’t ask me how I ended up talking about my Dad. He must be on my mind today. Now back to the subject of slowing down and going back to the simpler things in life. This is something we all need to do. 

All the already prepared meals, the ability to stream TV and movies on your phone as well as access the Internet makes our lives easier but it has also taken away our sense of family, of togetherness. We have become a single-minded entity who has lost any individuality. We no longer talk to people, we text. It is pretty bad when on a holiday that brings friends and family together. Everyone sits staring down at their phone and instead of engaging one another, and talking, they will message one another.

What happened to human interaction? Has our world become so defensive against the hate of others that they would rather not have any human contact. We are alone eating our fast food while staring at the small computer in our hands, isolated. Maybe if we return to the family dinners and sitting around the living room watching TV or, God forbid playing a board game together there would be less hate in the world because we would remember that we are after all a social creature. We need interaction with our fellow humans to remain human. When we separate ourselves we become selfish and hateful. We destroy because there is no one there to inhibit us.

In this way, we stop caring about our fellow man, our wildlife, our planet. It becomes all about number one. If we are to save our world we need to remember what it means to be human. To show ourselves and all of our flaws to each other to better grow as a species. I think if just one night a week to begin with we choose to make dinner from scratch, don’t get me wrong, I think using a jar of spaghetti sauce with packaged noodles would suffice. Just add a nice garden salad, some garlic bread, maybe some green beans and call the family together. As they enter the kitchen or dining room have them turn off their cell phones and place out of reach. Spend some time getting to know the humans that you share a home with and branch out from there. Call your friends over for an afternoon or evening of sitting around playing cards and gossip. Simple things like this will reactivate our ability to care and listen to one another.

I think I need to buy some new hankies, maybe a bandanna or two in memory of Dad. Take some time to reconnect with those I love and turn off my cell phone, shut down my computer and just spend the day remembering what life was like in the old days. I might even dig out my recipe for homemade chocolate chip cookies and do some baking. Take the time to slow down and breathe. I hope you will give it a try also. Leave me a comment on how you can slow down and reconnect. I hope you continue to love fully and laugh often.

a baking sheet filled with raw cookie dough balls.
Image by Aline Ponce from

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