Sepi and I went down to Mom and Dad’s Wednesday. When we got there it was a little early for lunch so I asked what we could do to further the cause. Mom said there were some lemons on the tree that were pretty big and she wanted to harvest them. Perfect!
I went and got the ladder and soon filled the first bag she brought out. Then she got a second bag which was quickly filled. At this point I was having some difficulty in reaching some of the large lemons and also noticed that the tree had sprouted quite a few branches straight up. I knew that Mom and Dad wanted to keep their fruit trees below about 10 feet in height so I asked Mom to bring me some pruning shears.
This is what she brought me.
I remember those pruners from my childhood over 50 years ago! Still, they worked ok. I had to twist a few of the branches I was trying to cut but it wasn’t worth making an issue over it. What was funny was when Dad came out as I was about done. Of course he couldn’t leave the branch cuttings on the ground for the gardener who was coming the next day. He went and got the green compost can and started cutting up the branches to fit in the can.
He immediately said these cutters are no good. (I wish I could remember what he said exactly but I can’t.) I went and got some newer ones and took this picture of the old ones. When we were done it went back into the bin with the others so it will almost certainly make more appearances.
Back in the garage with the camera app in the phone open, I decided to look at his storage cabinet. It’s a microcosm of his thriftiness: reused shoe boxes and hand written labels. There’s an old wired phone that he can’t bear to throw out. In fairness, it probably still works and they do still have a land line.
Below those items are another hallmark of my childhood: reused Polaroid film boxes. At work, Dad took Polaroid images of experiments he was running to study and/or document certain things. The boxes would have been tossed – indeed many probably were – but they were sized perfectly for small items as can be seen.
I’ve had occasion to go into some of those boxes in the last few years. What an amazing melange of ancient hardware! They are the result of many years of fixing things and saving the better parts for reuse. The fact that most of them are worn in ways that would make them difficult or impossible to use now is beside the point. Thriftiness in action. How can I not love this man?