Back Around the House II: It’s called creative living


By Kathleen Floyd - Back Around the House II



My grandma told me years ago that a large family must just “make do.”

Now in these days of being politically correct, I suppose that phrase should be changed because many of the phrases we were comfortable with have been deemed inappropriate after years of use.

Therefore I would change “making do” to “creative living.”

Since we had eight children, making do or creative living was definitely a way of life when they were growing up. For example, our clothes baskets were seldom used to gather laundry. They were used for lots of other things though, like hamster cages, sleds, or building blocks. Cardboard boxes with hand holds cut into the sides were used for the laundry. Back then stores gladly gave boxes away free instead of crushing and recycling them.

Another example, Bill’s dad stopped in for a cup of coffee one day. One of the kids prepared it for him just the way Pop liked — instant coffee with hot water, milk and sugar.

Pop took the cup and said, “How am I supposed to stir this?”

The server ran back to the kitchen, went through the silverware drawer, and returned with a fork.

“All the spoons are in the dish washer,” he explained.

Pop held up the fork and said, “The coffee will go right through these tines.” With what would now be called a “well, duh look,” the kid said politely, “Turn it upside down.”

Pop did, then looked at me in amazement and said, “He’s right. It will work.”

There was the time that some of the kids went together to buy me a birthday present.

I don’t remember what the gift was, but I surely do remember the wrapping. They removed a piece of wallpaper from a sample book, wrapped it around the gift, and stuck the whole thing together with Band-aids. They couldn’t find the scotch tape.

Since our children are all grown up and gone and we’re retired, we don’t have to make do much any more. Our tableware all matches now, and we seldom run out of spoons.

There’s always a roll of tape on the desk with an extra one in the drawer. But this month I was reminded that creative living is still alive and well in our family.

On my birthday I was busy all day with meetings, telephone calls and teaching at Edison. That evening most of our kids and their families stopped by for an impromptu birthday visit. That means there was even less planning than usual.

Two of them brought supper for us after they called and discovered we hadn’t eaten yet. One brought fast food and the other brought leftovers from their evening meal. Both were delicious.

One brought a cake. There was a little bit of cake left, but not enough to justify digging out the proper cake cover, so she just upended a clean, empty whipped cream container and popped it over the cake remains.

Even the youngest generation is apparently adept at creative living. The 6-year-old grandson asked his mom if he could have a lemonade stand out front. She considered it, but decided it wasn’t a good time, and so she said no. He said OK and went back outside.

Some time later he walked into the house waving a dollar bill. “Where did you get that?” she asked.

“From the neighbor,” he replied. In answer to her raised eyebrows he continued, “You said we didn’t have time to set up a lemonade stand out front, so I just decided to sell it door to door. And you know what? The first neighbor man said he didn’t want any lemonade, but he’d just give me a dollar. Cool, huh?”

Since grandparents are not responsible for the behavior of wandering grandchildren I say, “ Hooray, Creative Living lives on!”

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Daily Advocate on Sept. 26, 2001.

Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at kfloyd@woh.rr.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

By Kathleen Floyd

Back Around the House II

Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at kfloyd@woh.rr.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at kfloyd@woh.rr.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.