1. Which of the following could you do without? TV, Computer, Mobile Phone. TV, I guess. I would miss PBS! My son has no TV and he streams everything. Maybe he could teach me!
2. Do you have a lot of old photographs in a box, or did you put them in albums? I do have some photos in a box, but at least they are all sorted and labeled. I have also put a lot of my photos in albums. I was into the scrapbooking craze for awhile – it’s amazing how much time I took (and money I spent!) to add little embellishments and create fancy backgrounds. It’s a lot easier now, because I do it on Shutterfly, since all my photos are now digital (and I can scan the ones that aren’t, which are mainly ones other people have given me). I don’t like to just keep all my photos on my computer, or on flashdrives or whatever. Then if I look at them later, I won’t remember what’s in the photos. I like to remember my trips and I enjoy making and looking at my albums (especially in the depths of winter) and showing them to others. There are many trips I haven’t made into albums, but at least I try to have a journal so I know what the photos are about.
If my kids or grandkids want to throw away my albums after I’m dead, so be it! I will die believing they will cherish them as keepsakes, as well as all my writing!
3. What was the first thing you bought for yourself when you started work?
OMG, that was so long ago, I have no idea! Probably clothes.
4. What is the biggest thing you have bought that did not require finance?
My husband’s car – we didn’t need to finance because at the time we happened to have the money from selling a property, and we also got something of a rebate from his trade-in. It was great not to have monthly car payments, at least until I bought a new car a year later…
Di at pensivity101 is still substituting for Melanie for Share Your World. Here are her questions:
Do you have family photographs on display in your main living room? Yes – well, mostly not in the living room, but on bookshelves in a few different rooms, mostly our bedroom. Our daughter’s wedding photo is on a bookshelf in the living room, wedged between two book ends holding sets of books on either side.
2. What was the best vehicle you owned? I think it’s my current one, a Toyota Prius. I have almost always had Toyotas, which have always worked great for me. Once I had my dad’s old Dodge, which petered out and I had to sell because it would stall when it was raining. (In fact, it was due to that problem that I bought my first cell phone – a big clunky thing!) Another time, I bought a Chrysler Reliant, which was a terrible purchase. Admittedly, the car was used but I had one problem after another. “Reliant” – Ha! What a lie! After that, I went back to buying a used Toyota, and when I could afford a new car, I bought a Toyota Corolla! Since then, I’ve had a hybrid Camry, which we gave to our daughter and son-in-law when his truck died, giving me the excuse to buy the Prius. I have never had to replace a Toyota due to problems with the car; it’s always been to donate to one of our kids!
3. Did you pass your driving test first time? No, I passed it the second time, 6 months after my first try. I didn’t really do anything wrong in my first driving test, except that I was driving my dad’s stick shift car, and it had developed a random habit of stalling. The way to get it going again was to open the hood and wiggle two wires that my dad had shown me! Since this didn’t happen all the time, I took a chance that it wouldn’t happen during the test (and it was the only vehicle available that day). Well, it did! The car stalled after I stopped at a stop sign. I told the instructor I knew what to do to get it going again, but he wouldn’t let me open the hood to wiggle the two wires! So I had to just keep trying to start the car again the normal way, and eventually succeeded without my dad’s remedy! When he failed me, the instructor said, “Next time, bring a car in good working order.”
4. Does loud music from a neighbour or passing cars annoy you? Yes. I think this is very rude. However, I have occasionally turned the volume up on the radio in the car when a favorite song comes on, but now I roll up the windows.
The worse time to have loud music next door is in college, when you’re trying to study and in the next dorm room, they’re having a party and don’t turn it down when you ask them nicely. This happened to me one time and I went next door and pounded on the door. I was so mad I could hardly control myself! I wanted to strangle the guy who opened the door. Instead, I just yelled at him, using several choice epithets. Seeing that my face was red and I was screaming at him, he agreed to turn it down, which he did (but not enough). Well, that’s dorm life!
Gratitude: What has made you smile over the last seven days? My cat, hearing Mahler’s Symphony #1 on my favorite XM radio station in my car, our family’s monthly Zoom meeting and hearing about my nieces and nephews from my sisters.
1. Do you prefer to live in a single story property like a bungalow, a high rise apartment, or a house? House. We live in a duplex, or what is here called a “villa.” I like it because there is only one stair in the entire house – the step from the garage into the kitchen! 2. If you won a large amount of money on the lottery, would you want publicity or keep things quiet and low key? Probably keep quiet, although that’s not easy for me, lol!
3. How do you like your eggs? (No, this is not a trick question) Just about any way, except runny yolks! My favorite is my husband’s omelets, which he makes once a week! 4. If cars were no longer available, what would be your choice of transport? Metro or walking (I used to ride a bike, but now I have balance difficulties.)
Gratitude: Our aim is to make at least one person smile every day. I belong to a group here at my community called “Bright Side,” where we talk about and promote positive feelings and attitudes. The first Friday in October is designated as National Smile Day. Since we are still required to wear masks in our community’s common areas, it’s hard to give and receive smiles. So we are planning an event for the first week of October to promote smiling! Maybe we will give out smiley face stickers to everyone, or have a “feel good” event.
When you’re on holiday, do you prefer self catering or a hotel/B&B? On road trips, I will pack a cooler with necessities for picnics, such as bread, cheese, fruit, and beverages. But we rarely use them. It’s just easier to go to a restaurant. The last time I remember having a picnic on a road trip was the day we went to Devil’s Tower in eastern Wyoming, five years ago. After visiting the monument, we found a picnic table near the entrance to the park, and I set out our picnic fixings. It was about 6 p.m., and just as we were starting to eat our picnic dinner, it started to rain! We finished our sandwiches quickly, then headed back to the car just in time before it started to pour!
Do you have a favourite meal you cook for yourself or order when out? We live at a senior community, and one reason we moved here was so we wouldn’t have to cook anymore. We get our own breakfast together and for lunch, eat salad or leftovers from dinners the night before in the dining room. In the evening, we eat in the dining room, and I must say the food is usually quite good.
That said, my husband makes great omelets, customarily on Saturdays, but it could be any day he feels like doing it! The omelet always contains tomatoes, onions, kale (from a friend’s garden), sometimes luncheon meat, and cheese. It might have other veggies, like broccoli. We have freshly squeezed orange juice (this is done at Mariano’s supermarket, we just buy the bottles of it!) and either a bagel, a muffin, or toast. That is the most elaborate meal we cook for ourselves these days!
In the current fuel crisis, have you made a conscious effort not to use the car unless absolutely necessary? I think about it sometimes, and I at least drive a Prius (hybrid), but we don’t drive a lot anymore. We are both retired and our regular trips consist of to and from a golf course weekly (my husband, with his Subaru Forester), doctors’ appointments and shopping, usually in neighboring suburbs, and some activities I do with friends in the city we used to live in, which is only five miles from here. It takes several weeks, usually a month, for my gas tank to get low enough to buy gas. I get 50 miles to the gallon, which is better than most cars on the road in the U.S.!
4. If you were to compare yourself to a plant, what would you be? I’d be a saguaro cactus. I love these majestic giants and sometimes they have many arms in a variety of positions. They look awkward sometimes, and I can relate!
I am lucky to have a lot of happy memories from my childhood. Please share one from yours. Most of my friends during childhood lived in my neighborhood in our hometown in southern Wisconsin, so we played together outside when weather permitted. We’d ride our bikes, go to our local beach (a man-made pond with a sandy shore), or play in the woods behind our houses. In the summer, we’d stay out as late as our parents let us – it was perfectly safe then, even after dark. In the winter, we’d go to each others’ houses, but usually ended up at mine. If one of the kids left a scarf or hat at my house, I’d smell it and then I’d know who it belonged to!
Do you ever feel more excited about getting the package in the mail, rather than the item that’s in it? Sometimes. It is fun to shop online because I get the package in the mail and that’s exciting.
What is the difference between your ideal self and your real self? (i.e. what attribute or physical feature would allow you feel the ideal ‘you’?) It would take many pages to thoroughly answer this question! Physically, I’m okay except I need to lose about 15 lbs. I would be more my “ideal” self if I didn’t have ADHD. My life would have taken a different trajectory if I had had the self-confidence to make decisions and be happy with them. For most of my life, I didn’t know why I was the way I was – low self-esteem, forgetful, lack of consistency, always losing things. I got distracted in class so I didn’t do as well in my classes as I might have. I didn’t get a diagnosis of ADHD until 2007, when it was too late for me to take the most effective meds (because by then, I had a heart problem). But at least I understood myself after that, and I was nicer to myself.
I now am relatively satisfied with my life. I think that happens often to people when they enter their senior years. I am not going to be a famous author and my teaching years are over, so I will never have the chance to be a much better teacher. But being retired, I do a lot of things that I want to do and no one judges me. I have come back to a childhood interest, which is art. I sing in two choirs. I am in two writing groups and 3 reading groups. I write my blog when I feel like it. I travel and look forward to upcoming trips. I have lots of new friends in the senior community where my husband and I live now, and I love the little house (basically a duplex) where we live. I have everything I need and want (well, mostly).
If you found $2,000 on the ground and there were no witnesses, what would you do with it? I once found $100 on the grass outside a restaurant and carried around that $100 bill for months. I was going to just spend it – after all, there was no way to trace whose it was. But when I talked to my sister, she said whenever she found money, she would give that same amount to a charity. I thought that was a good idea.
Much as I would like to just use the $2000 for a trip, I would probably feel compelled to donate at least part of it (I’m more selfish than my sister!). So maybe I’d use half for my travel fund and give half to a worthy cause.
Are you ever morally obliged to take action? Under what circumstances? If you witness a crime, you should report it, or if possible, intervene to stop it (without endangering your life). But at least report the crime to the police.
I think I am also morally obligated to do something to help the cause of saving our planet from the effects of human-caused climate change. I don’t do much – just small things, but I will write a letter to the newspaper to counter a denier of human caused climate change. If I ever get a new car, it will be an electric car. (Right now I drive a hybrid – a Toyota Prius, which gets 50 miles to the gallon). I belong to a committee to promote awareness about recycling and doing things to help the planet or our community to become more “green.” I recycle. My husband and I collect Styrofoam from people (which cannot be recycled in most instances) and then take a carload to a company that’s over 40 miles away, to recycle it. It’s the Dart Company, which makes Styrofoam. I tell everyone I know to save the Styrofoam containers they get and give them to us. Dart has four huge bins on the edge of their premises where people come to recycle their Styrofoam. It warms my heart to see that the bins are usually full to overflowing, which means other conscientious people are bringing their Styrofoam there too! There are many small ways that people can become involved – refuse straws & plastic utensils, don’t litter throwaway masks, recycle not just paper and the other materials that one’s community accepts, but also donate old clothes to resale places. Better yet, don’t buy new clothes in the first place (this is a hard one for me!). Compost if you can.
Reduce – Reuse – Recycle – Refuse
GRATITUDE SECTION Please feel free to share how last week went for you. Bright or not so bright spots?
Not so bright: I wasted too much time playing games on my phone, which is a strain on my eyes and I can barely read a book after that! Bright: I’m making birthday cards for my friends and have developed a sort of style for these cards. I am hoping to make a couple of sets to sell at a craft and vendor sale at my church. Here’s an example:
When you were a kid, did you eat the crusts on your sandwich or not? Always, I love the crusts!
Are you a fan of musicals—why or why not? Yes and no. It seems like every time I turn around, there’s a new musical out (What is Six?!). Some of the topics they take on are not necessarily good as musicals, but might make great plays or movies. (Believe it or not, I actually saw a production of Jane Eyre: The Musical. Not one of my favorites.) I prefer musicals that are written as musicals, not adaptations of books, like Jane Austen novels – a few of them have been made into musicals, and I didn’t like that at all. The songs can be a distraction.
When I’m watching a musical, I often get impatient when the characters break into song, because I want the story to continue. But some musicals are really great and a lot of fun. I enjoy some of the classics, like The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, or West Side Story. I also enjoy singing along to the familiar songs while listening to a CD. I have not seen Hamilton yet, mainly because I don’t want to pay $200 for a ticket, but also I’ve heard that it’s best to “preview” the songs, to have time to understand the lyrics. I probably wouldn’t do that, and as a result, I wouldn’t “get” the songs. But I’d still like to see it. However, I don’t rush out to see every single musical or remake of a musical. Really, I’m not sure politicians or historical figures are good subjects for musicals.
The thing is, I do really like opera, although some are more interesting than others. But in opera, they sing all the time and there are usually subtitles, even when it’s sung in English. I guess I see opera as a whole “experience” while going to a musical is like going to a play or a movie. But now, I’ve taken to watching operas from the Met on a movie screen. The seats are far more comfortable and the theatre is a short, easy drive in my car!
Is it difficult to do what you do? (for a living, hobby etc.). If you’re retired, what you ‘did’ previously for a job can be substituted. Yes, at least my second career – teaching – was very difficult. Some situations were easier for me than others. I didn’t really like or succeed at being a regular classroom teacher because there were too many things to remember, especially non-teaching things, like checking my email every morning and taking attendance. I really loved, and I think excelled at, being a resource teacher – that is, taking kids out of their classrooms and working with them in small groups. I think the kids liked it too. Being a bilingual teacher, sometimes the foreign-born kids were overwhelmed in the classroom with all their American peers, and my classroom was more culture-affirming and comfortable for them. For me, it was more relaxed, less rigid. My groups were usually 4-10 students, that I would have during literacy block – about an hour and a half per grade level. So I was their reading and language arts teacher, one with knowledge of their native language and culture and trained in teaching English as a Second Language. I was also a resource for classroom teachers who did not know how to teach English as a Second Language. I enjoyed the collaborative and reflective aspects of teaching.
But I really struggled being a classroom teacher. Classroom management, for a person with ADHD, can be very difficult. I was always misplacing things, so I didn’t have them when I needed them. Although I wrote detailed lesson plans, I didn’t always follow them as I should have. I spent hours every night preparing for my classes or grading papers. I would say I worked about 70 hours a week! (Which is worth a couple of summer months off, don’t you think so?)
Besides the difficulties keeping up in the classroom, there were always school politics. If your principal was a jerk or didn’t like you, your school year could be hell. Some principals have favorites among the teachers, who then would form a little clique and act superior to other teachers. I even had one principal use my classroom aide to spy on me. Administrators are under a lot of pressure these days, due to their schools having to perform well on standardized tests. And of course, the special ed and bilingual students always were at a disadvantage taking those tests. The principals were also under scrutiny and beholden to superintendents and school boards. Not an easy task, and these days I wouldn’t want to go up against a school board! Some of the parents are crazy! Anyway, I tried to understand what principals were up against, but some principals were just terrible. A few were very good and sympathetic, and those teaching years were the best – at least I was less stressed.
It takes a certain type of person, one who is organized and doesn’t get flustered easily, to be a good teacher. I think I was good, as I said, with small groups, but not as a classroom teacher. And I’m sure it has gotten worse for teachers since I retired seven years ago, not better.
What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to? (Doesn’t have to be a rock concert either).
That’s a hard one! I’ve been to many great concerts, so it’s difficult to say which was the best. I do remember rock/popular music concerts better than classical concerts; I went to very few actual rock concerts. Classical concerts? There are too many to remember. The best popular music concerts were those at which I could hear the music and liked it, and where there were no disturbances like drunk people throwing up near me. I liked seeing Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie, and some of the Celtic bands made me want to get up and dance!
Looking back over your life, what is one thing you’re grateful for? One thing you really regret? I’ll do the regret first – I regret not getting into a profession earlier or even preparing for one during my years ass an undergraduate in college. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, except that I really liked writing and drawing. The work I did for 20 plus years I put in the category of “a job” – not a profession. Teaching was the one profession I went into, when I was a lot older and more mature. I went to grad school and got my MA in teaching, and did further coursework to become a bilingual/ESL teacher. I wish I had done something like speech pathology – I never really understood what that was and if I had, I might have taken that path. Anyway, it’s all water under the bridge!
I am grateful for many things, but the most important one is my family. Although my siblings and I bickered sometimes, in the most important things we supported each other. We never fought over money or our inheritance as some families do. No one tried to take more than was due to them. When I was in my first marriage, and especially when I separated from my ex-husband, my family really supported and helped me with their love and understanding. They have been so welcoming to my stepdaughter and her husband, integrating them into the family as full members, not adjuncts. My stepdaughter, who was an only child, suddenly gained a whole lot of cousins, aunts and uncles! She really appreciates that and knows a lot more about what’s going on with my nieces and nephews than I do!
We are back from a two-week vacation in Europe! I have not had time to work on my blog since we got back. But as soon as I came to my blog, I looked for Melanie’s Share Your World!
Here are her questions for this week, some of which, I must say, require some pondering!
Do you become discouraged by the annual “Blogging Ennui” phenomenon that comes around every year? (it’s early this year IMO) (blogging ennui means (to me) a distinct slow down in writing and participation, which lasts an indefinite period of time). I’ve had blog ennui for many months now, actually. Sometimes I’m not sure if it’s worth writing, and I’m often busy with other things. There are a few challenges that I like to do, and wish I did on a more regular basis. I have gotten to the point that I mostly ONLY do challenges, because the posts I do on my own get few readers. I wish I could say (as I used to) that I only do it for myself, but I have an ego and like to be recognized, so that is why I stick to challenges that get a lot of readers, some of whom will read my posts.
If you were in a room filled with you and your doppelganger (someone who looks exactly like you do. Supposedly everyone has at least one out there in the world) and 2 billion dollars, what would you do? What do you think your doppelganger would do?
I’d invite my other me to take a trip around the world with me. Then I’d keep enough to have a comfortable life and give the rest away to friends, charities, or political candidates (since there is no limit to what I can donate to get my candidate elected – I would fill the Congress with solid Democratic majorities, as well as the presidency!) The charities I would donate to would include those that help those suffering from poverty, war, and climate change. And organizations working on climate change and saving environments around the world! As for my look-alike, I can’t say what she’d do with the money, since we only look alike but don’t necessarily think alike. Maybe after we’ve traveled the world together…
A building is burning. You have time to either save a child trapped inside or a valuable painting which you would then sell, using the money to save 20 children from starvation. What would you do and why?
I have a terrible phobia of fire – I can’t even light a regular-sized match! – so I would not go into a burning building under any circumstances (or if I were in the building, I’d save myself and get as far away from the fire as possible). I’d rather save starving children with some of the 2 billion dollars I am getting to share with my doppelganger!
What’s your opinion of yams or sweet potatoes? I love them, and they are a healthier option than regular potatoes. I especially like mashed sweet potatoes and sweet potato fries!
Please feel free to share an image of something that makes you smile!
I really like the questions Melanie has presented in Share Your World this week! So here goes!
In your opinion, what do you buy way more of than most people? I asked my husband what he thinks I buy too much of, and he said “nothing.” And in truth, he has to convince me that it is OK to buy something I really want but I am reluctant because it’s expensive. I often want to buy some new clothes but I don’t really need them and I think it’s wasteful of resources to buy excessive amounts of anything. I should shop at resale shops!
Which workers have the worst jobs? The jobs most Americans won’t do, but are much in demand, are often done by the lowest paid workers. They do the drudge jobs, including working in fields of large agricultural farms, bending over in the hot sun for long hours; cleaning toilets; factory work where there is dangerous machinery or an assembly line processing meat products (separating the organs and guts from the ‘good’ meat). These jobs are stressful, have long hours, and no job security. Here is an interesting article about the worst jobs in America: What are the worst jobs in America?
Opinion. John Cage is a composer who composed a piece named 4’33” for any instrument. The performers are instructed not to play their instrument for four minutes and thirty-three seconds. Is this music or is this art? A combination of the two? Neither, it’s stupid. Your opinion? I have seen this “performed.” I thought it was weird. In college I had some music nerd friends who really got into this avant-garde type of music. John Cage was a preferred composer among these people! But not for me!
How good are you at drawing? I am pretty good. I have been drawing all my life. I’ve only recently started learning how to paint. But drawing is still my forte. Here are some of my personal favorites, ranging from 1973 to 2022!
Which one do you think is the oldest? (Some of them are dated.)
GRATITUDE SECTION (as always optional)
Feel free to share one amazing thing you’ve experienced (any time frame).
Travel – each trip more amazing than the one before. I was amazed on my first safari, seeing wild animals roaming free, and no further than a few yards from us! They amazed me with their natural behavior and their antics – a mother cheetah playing with her cub, elephants playing in the water, lions and giraffes mating. There’s nothing that can compare with being among these creatures who share the earth with us.
On the other hand, I was also amazed – gobsmacked! – by visiting the ancient Egyptian monuments and realizing that they have endured thousands of years! The famous pyramids and sphinx were created over 4,000 years ago and yet they still stand! And visiting tombs and monuments where I got to see beautiful artwork – carved on pillars and walls of monuments, sometimes with the paint still visible, and the beautiful, colorful artwork in the ancient tombs. I just find it so amazing that these things have endured for more than 3000 years and we can still visit them. The Ancient Egyptians did create these tombs and monuments to last for “millions and millions” of years, but thousands is already very impressive!
Are you more productive at night or in the morning? Do you think it’s possible to change and get used to another schedule? I’m not really a morning person. I am more active at night, usually – perhaps it’s because I realize I have things to do and here it is evening and I haven’t done them yet! Yes, I think it is possible to adapt to another schedule, which I would like to do. There is an exercise class at 9:00 am on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, which is right now too early for me, but if I stop staying up so late, I should be able to get up an hour earlier so I can go to that class! So I should try to move back my bedtime incrementally. (But here it is 11:18 pm and I’m just starting to blog!)
What’s the biggest vehicle you’ve driven? If you don’t drive, what’s the biggest vehicle you’ve ridden in? This is wimpy, I know, but the largest car I’ve ever driven is a station wagon or small SUV. I have recently started driving my husband’s Subaru Forrester for short distances in decent weather, but I still prefer my Prius!
What songs would be played on a loop in hell? (Suspend disbelief for this one, it’s cool not to believe in Hell, but let’s use our imaginations to answer. Of course one can always skip the questions they find odd too. And yes, I took into account that individual tastes will influence individual choices.) Advertising jingles – they are very repetitive, loud (ads are louder than the TV shows that air them), annoying as hell, and somehow stick in one’s mind. I think that would be the worst thing to listen to on a loop in whatever hell one may end up in!
(Deep and chewy philosophical question): What does it mean to be a person? What constitutes “personhood?” (there may be some diverse opinions, but we’re all mature adults in here, so be respectful of others please). I think of a “person” as a human being. I don’t refer to animals such as pets as “persons,” although some people do. All humans are “persons” (or people – is that the plural of person?), no matter their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or whatever. Every human is equal to every other. Some are nicer than others, but that doesn’t make them less than persons. However, just because a person is a human being doesn’t make him or her superior to other animals. We think we are more intelligent and more important than other animals, but we have a lot to learn – a humbling prospect!
GRATITUDE SECTION (Always Optional)
How were your spirits (mood) over the past week?
It’s been a hectic and sort of dreary week. The weather has been lousy overall for this time of year. My daffodils are starting to bloom, while we get snow and hail! I was feeling really blah this morning, but I felt better after being in the swimming pool and hot tub this afternoon!
I’ve been busy working on Earth Week (April 18-22) activities here at the Moorings, as head of the environmental concerns committee, so everyone looks to me to figure this stuff out! I hope it will be a success though! Stay tuned!!
How do you tell if someone has a sense of humor? If they laugh a lot. I know a woman who has the most unique laugh, and when I hear that laugh across the room, I know it’s her. She laughs often and when I’m with her I try to say funny things so I can hear her laugh!
What sort of music do you prefer? Prefer: Right now, classical, but my tastes change sometimes. I also like rock, especially the Beatles (I have the Beatles Channel on my XM radio in the car). I like folk, blues, and world music of all types. This month, I’m hearing a lot of Celtic music! As for jazz, I only like certain kinds. I like big band and Dixieland but not “improvisational” jazz which just goes on and on. I get tired of it. But usually I choose classical or certain vocal groups, such as the Angel City Chorale (this group sings just about anything).
Thoughts on gravy or ‘sauce”? Yea or nay?
I like some sauces, especially salsa if it’s mild (my digestive system doesn’t tolerate anything spicy) and has fruit like mango added to it. Gravy is okay, I don’t use it unless the meat is really dry – too many empty calories!
Would you enjoy a hot air balloon ride?
I’m not sure…I have had opportunities to go on them, for an additional cost, during tours when I’m traveling. But my husband is afraid of heights and absolutely would never go on one. So unless I had someone to go with, I probably wouldn’t. I guess I’m neutral.
GRATITUDE SECTION(As always, optional)
What do you think is widely taken for granted?
The goods and services we enjoy in our society. We never thank anyone for the water that automatically comes out of our faucets when we turn on the tap. We don’t thank anyone for the electricity that powers our lights and electronics. I am reading a fantastic book, Braiding Sweetgrass, in which I found out that many Native American tribes thank everything they use – the animals they kill and use every part of, the trees which provide so much more than just shade, and plants that provide them with food. Saying grace before a meal is a good – but, I fear, dying – custom. It seems the more we have, the more we want and the more we take it all for granted. This is, I’m afraid, is what makes people reluctant to conserve – to reduce, reuse, and recycle – in order to save our precious resources.