A Stitch In Time

Random musings today, which can be my response to the Ragtag Daily Prompt word, MEANDER

A Stitch In Time

Deciding to head for the park where I could meander awhile, I slipped my car key into my jacket pocket and…

Clunk. My key landed on the floor.

I stuck my hand in my pocket and discovered that small hole I’d intended to repair, was now a bigger hole. Big enough for my car key to fall through. Yes, I’d noticed those few missing stitches and vowed – can it be several months ago now? – that I’d fix that hole very soon. But somehow…

I recall that old grandmas’ saying, “A stitch in time saves nine.” For centuries untold moms and grandmas passed on this kind of practical wisdom to make life a bit easier for their offspring. Fix the hole while it’s small and it won’t tear even more. You won’t have look for things that fall out of pockets, darn bigger holes, or put huge patches on knees. Throw out easily repaired clothing and your budget will develop holes!

For whatever reason, we live in a day when passing on the old wisdom is not popular. Discouraged even. Every person should be allowed to find their own way, to eventually discover the same truths that parents and grandparents used to share. Like me with the hole in my pocket.

When I was young my Aunt/Mom worked out and my various babysitters didn’t bother to teach me any practical skills or even basic common sense. They had nothing invested in my upbringing and Mom didn’t have time or energy after work. So I’ve learned a lot myself through trial and error, but I’m passing on some of this to my own grand-daughters.

I’m seeing that attitudes are shifting and passing on life’s truths will come back into style. Young people, they say, are overwhelmed and actually craving guidance from the old folks who’ve experienced and learned these lessons.

As another wise saying goes, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You won’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

“LOVE the Child”

The Ragtag Daily Prompt word for today is CONCRETE. I’ve probably posted this story before, but the wordplay is so suitable for this prompt. This scene took place somewhere in England, back in the 1950s — when it was still possible to give a child a cuff on the ear for misbehaving.

LOVE THE CHILD

A professional psychologist was constantly admonishing parents to “Love the child.” An expert in his field, the doctor encouraged all his clients and his neighbors as well: “Children need to be shown love and kindness.”

One day the doctor had a new concrete pathway poured in his back yard. A few minutes later he looked out and saw a neighbor boy slopping through the wet concrete. He rushed out, grabbed the boy, and was about to give him a cuff on the ear when a neighbor woman saw what was about to happen. She quickly shouted out her window, “Remember what you always say, Doctor. LOVE the child.”

“To which he replied, “I DO love him, madam — in the abstract. But I DON’T love him in the concrete!”

Contentions

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is CHANGELING

Merriam-Webster gives these definitions:
Turncoat (archaic)
One child exchanged for another at birth, (usually a fairy child)
Imbecile
(archaic)
And I’m going to go with the first meaning, though it be rather archaic.

Illustration by ArtTower — Pixabay

No Changing Allowed!

Sister stamped her foot in fury. “Changeling! Turncoat! Traitor to the cause!”

“I’ve seen the light,” Brother responded. “It’s not an issue.”

“You were on my side before. Now you’re wimping out.”

“Having given the matter serious thought, I’ve realized that one choice is as good as the other.” Brother maintained his calm tone. “It’s no big deal.”

“Ha! If you’d been in Boston before the Tea Party, you’d probably have said ‘It’s no big deal. Let’s just pay the tax and not rock the boat’.

“It might have saved a war.”

“Heretic!” Sister punched his arm. “And this is a big deal!”

“Everybody raves about how great peace is. ‘NO MORE WAR,’ they say. But soon as they get passionate about some issue, they’re ready to take up arms. Like you now.”

“You must have been switched for my real brother at the hospital. If you were my true brother you’d see things like I do.”

Brother scowled. “Wow! Talk about over-reacting.”

“Somebody needs to remind you of what you said last month when this issue first came up. You’ve done a 180 switch.”

“All I said was, I think we should…”

“But you said just the opposite last month. You agreed with me then. Changeling. Traitor.”

Finally Dad spoke up. “Okay, you two. Rather than fighting about this – ”

“I’m not fighting about it,” Brother protested. “She is.”

“I’m not fighting, either! I’m just saying he can’t change his mind like this. Last month we decided we wanted to do Sea World. Now he’s saying let’s go to Yellowstone.”

Dad laid his hand on her shoulder. “Well, I’ll settle the matter. We’ll visit Yellowstone this summer and Sea World next year. End of the skirmish. And no sniping.”

“Who knows if I’ll even be alive next year? The whole world may lay in ashes!”

Dad frowned at her. “No Sniping. End of subject.”

“Teach The Children Well”

Since I’m going to be away from home today, I’ll re-post two short items from my DropBox. Hope you enjoy them.

Stubbornness Doesn’t Pay

Back in 1928 a family had taken a holiday on the Hebrides island of Lewis, in the north of Scotland. Dr MacLeod had brought his family back to the village where he’d been born and they’d visited around amongst various of his friends and relatives. As they were motoring home the children in the back seat got into a discussion that became rather heated. Son Iain, who felt himself in danger of losing the argument got rather huffy about it. After all, he was right! “If no one is going to agree with me, “ he declared, “I’ll get out right now and walk home.”

His words were designed to make the others give in; of course he had no intention of carrying them out. But his father decided the boy needed a lesson, so he stopped the car and silently opened the door. Iain had no choice but to get out and walk back to their village. It was a long, long walk and well after midnight when he finally arrived at his home, exhausted and thoroughly chilled. He found the door unlocked for him, but everyone was in bed and all the lights were out. Quietly he crept into his own bed, scolding himself for his foolish words and attitude.

His parents never mentioned the incident again, but Iain had plenty of time to consider on his long walk and decided that from now on he’d be stubborn only in issues of serious right and wrong, he’d give more consideration to the other fellow’s point of view and recognize that he could be wrong. This lesson stood him in good stead when in later years he became a politician.

(It wouldn’t be safe in the world we have today, but back then it must have been.)

Another Long Walk

A single mother in our community dealt with her son’s problem in a somewhat similar way when he was put off the school bus because he wasn’t “able” to sit still. The driver said he wouldn’t be allowed on the bus again until he could.

She could have made excuses for the boy, she could have said, “He’s ADHD and cant help himself.” But she rather told him the next morning, “Get your coat on; we’re walking to school.”

The two of them set off early and it took them several hours cover the miles to school. That night she was there again. “Are you ready to walk home or are you going to sit down and behave yourself on the bus?”

Yes, he was ready to apologize to the driver and sit still from now on.

This mom felt her son needed to learn respect for authority; when you’re told to sit down and behave yourself there are no excuses. She knew of another lad in that same school, knew that when he defied the authority of his teacher his father, a cop, took his part against the teacher and threatened her with legal action when she tried to rein in his son. That young man, as an adult, had issues with obeying authority and landed up in jail. She didn’t want that to happen to her son.

Rabbits

A humorous, familiar tale by Edgar Guest

Rabbits

Janet has a pair of rabbits just as white as winter’s snow
which she begged of me to purchase just a week or two ago.
She found the man who raised them and she took me over there
to show me all his bunnies, at a dollar for a pair,
and she pleaded to possess them so I looked at her and said:
“Will you promise every morning to make sure that they are fed?”

She promised she would love them and she promised she would see
they had lettuce leaves to nibble and were cared for tenderly.
And she looked at me astounded when I said, “I should regret
buying pretty bunnies for you if to feed them you’d forget.
Once there was a little fellow, just about as old as you
who forgot to feed the rabbits which he’d owned a week or two.”

“He forgot to feed his rabbits!” said my Janet in dismay.
“Yes,” I said, “as I remember, he’d go scampering off to play.
And his mother or his daddy later on would go to see
if his pretty little bunnies had been cared for properly,
and they’d shake their heads in sorrow and remark it seems too bad
that rabbits should belong to such a thoughtless little lad.”

“Who was the boy?” she asked me, and the truth to her I told,
“A little boy you’ve never seen who now is gray and old.
Some folks say you’re just like him,” but she looked at me and said:
“I won’t forget my bunnies! I’ll make sure that they are fed!”
And she bravely kept her promise for about a week or two,
but today I fed the rabbits, as I knew I’d have to do.

🙂

Image: Engin Akyurt — Pixabay