Monday, September 12, 2011

My Daddy's Advice

I had a sudden flashback today when I was taking the garbage out, of my dear Daddy and his sage advice.

First, let me say, this has been a long time coming. I've been trying to be very economical, so when it comes to the trash, I want to use the big plastic bags as much as I reasonably can. It gets to a certain level, and anyone would immediately tie it up and haul it out. But because I'm trying to get economical, I get up there with my foot and press it down tighter. That frees up space to keep putting more stuff in it, banana peels, used paper towels, and other crap, coffee grounds, etc.

I have to confess, I think about the bacteria on the bottom of my shoe. But no one's dropping dead, so it must not be that bad. I forget about it and go on with my business, knowing that I'm saving money in the long run, the more garbage I can fit into one bag.

Anyway, getting back to my Daddy. He's gone now, so I'm left all alone to carry on as best I can. But fortunately he talked to me over the years and let me know the things I'd need to know...

So I was thinking of him today as I got up over the trash and tried to compress it further down. It wouldn't budge, meaning it was as compact as it was going to get. It was time to change the bag and take this one out.

My Daddy's words came back to me, traveling over the years once again into my consciousness. Sitting on his knee, I heard him once again: "Son, someday you'll be a man, as old as me. And I won't be there to tell you what to do. You'll be all grown up and on your own. So I'm going to need to tell you right now what to do, so that when you're on your own, you won't lose your way."

I always gave close attention to his teaching, and now I'm glad I did. "Son, someday when you're filling up trash bags, there's some things you need to know." I remember this all so clearly, because I remember cutting him off with my childish protests, "Daddy, it'll never happen. You'll always be with me. You'll always be there to take care of the trash."

He put a gentle finger to my lips, to silence me, and I remember seeing a tear in his eye. "Hush, young one," he said with unlimited patience. My lip started to quiver as I realized he wasn't just "funnin' me." The old codger was serious. "Let me speak. I might drop dead right now." Then he told me, "When you're filling trash bags, press it down very tightly, as much as you can. You'll save money that way, money that may come in handy for other things you might want."

This was a long time ago, but I remember it like it was tomorrow.

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