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What about Yesterday?

by Jonell Hoffman

Remember when?

News from Jonell: My book FOR THE LOVE OF ANNABEL- A Tale of Romance and Adventure is now published by Infinity Publishing. You can go to buybooks.com to buy a copy. It's listed under fiction.
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You cannot turn on the TV today without hearing about global warming, recycling, or saving the environment. While all this is necessary, I began to turn back the years to a time where there were no plastic milk bottles, no paper diapers (only Birdseye), no pizza cartons or fast food leftovers (we threw them out the window at the local drive-in movie), and we didn’t have trash pick-up at the curb. There were no landfills, no worry with recycling of aluminum cans, and no worry with bottle-feeding or breast-feeding. What happened to those days?
 
Back in the Rock Ages, we had chicken houses and we recycled the chicken dirt in our gardens. We ate eggs just laid and did not worry about whether they had salmonella, and when we kept the rooster out of the henhouse they were not fertilized. We grew our own greens and never worried about pesticides or E.coli. The only milk we got was from the cow and later on in the supermarket in heavy waxed cartons; which we recycled by planting seedlings in them for our flower or vegetable gardens. We recycled old car parts with John down the road and then buried the body in a grave up the hill. They rusted so quickly we didn’t have to wait long for decay, which enhanced our soil for further plantings. We didn’t get many clothes to wear to school, and what we wore was passed down to the younger kids or made into dishtowels or aprons for the kitchen. Flour was sold in beautiful sacks, which were made into shirts and dresses when empty and washed. 
           
Water was caught in foot tubs in the yard when it rained to be used when we washed. Other tubs were for drinking water once we skimmed off the bugs that drown in them. Somehow we never got sick even when the water flowed off the tin roofs of the houses. 
 
Meals were homemade with real ingredients and fed Cox’s army for a week. There were no fast food cartons to throw away that needed to be biodegradable. We had no air conditioning (which I agree was not pleasant) so the electric bills did not set you back an arm and a leg each summer. We sat on the porches at night to cool down before bed. We washed our feet before bed with the dishwater thus eliminating the use of water every night for showers and tub baths. Most people did not own a shower and were happy to get leftover water from the week's washing to bathe on Saturday night before services on Sunday. Soap was homemade and took a layer of skin every time we used it. The only soap powders were Tide and Oxydol that back then were guaranteed to wash out every stain, even the fiber. 
 
There were fresh eggs, fresh milk, fresh butter, and fresh vegetables from the garden. The old garden plants were plowed under to fertilize for the winter crop. 
 
But, somehow I cannot see the people who live in concrete jungles today having a garden spot or housing a cow in their extra bedroom. Chickens would not be allowed to roam the streets and no one has the time to make butter. Most families have to have both parents working to pay bills and live the lifestyle their children are accustomed to. There are fees for finer schools that the kids could care less about; all they want is a playground and cafeteria. Children have to wear the latest in fashion and need labels to reassure their parents that they have provided their children the best in clothing, and they match the labels like Susie next door. They need finer, faster, more aerodynamic automobiles to park in the parking lots in order to get slammed by other car doors and keyed by the neighborhood thugs.
 
Yes, things are quite different now, but why complain about environment? Have we not created our own problems in our own homes? What should be doing about it?
 
1.         Quit complaining about global warming and shut off the air-conditioning and open the windows; remember to put the window screens back on. Don’t breathe too deeply; the air outside will kill you.
2.                  Buy a cheaper car, perhaps one that uses alternative fuels, and watch the prices of canola oil go up and people making their own brew in the backyard.
3.                  Save on recycling our paper products and plastic products by not eating take-out or drinking milk (make milk from dried milk), and forget the TV dinners for those who eat alone. Don’t send lunches to school with your child that are wrapped in aluminum foil or wax paper. 
4.                  Don’t watch TV so that you don’t see commercials that entice you to buy food, candy, cereal or maybe a new fancy car.
5.                  Don’t go to the doctor unless you are dying in order to lower medical costs.
 
Of course, all this is ridiculous, but in order to stop pollution and our slowly degrading environment, we need to think deeply about what we are doing to destroy the earth. You could even make it a neighborhood project!
 

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