Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thrifty Genes

I failed to inherit the thrifty gene. I don't wash and reuse Ziploc bags like I should, and I've been known to throw out clothing that needed mending simply because I knew I would never get around to doing it. I've always admired my maternal grandparents and their ability willingness to save, create, and reuse.

My mother brags that my grandmother would bring friends to her house in the midst of the depression, and her friends would drool. There was canned chicken, tomatoes, eggs, and preserves aplenty. They rarely went without a good meal.

My grandmother has rescued every fern and dying potted plant placed along the roadside, and within a year has them looking better than a newly purchased plant from the finest nursery. My grandfather disconnected the light in their doorbell to save on energy costs. No lie.

Recently, my grandparents brought my husband a stack of my grandfather's old clothing . Hubby is always ruining shirts on the farm, so it's a nice way to recycle. My grandfather finally retired, so he had a good excuse to downsize his wardrobe. I just had to take a photo of one of the shirts in the bunch.

My grandfather worked as a civil engineer for about 60 years. Like most nerds engineers, he had to have several pens and pencils available at all times. To this day, he carries a few writing instruments in his front pocket for working crossword puzzles. Well, sometimes my grandmother would find an exceptionally nice shirt at a garage sale or Goodwill, but it wouldn't have a pocket for my grandfather's engineering tools.Thus, the tail-pocket was born.

For as long as I can remember, my grandmother has cut off the shirttail and sewn a nice pocket on my grandfather's work shirts. She is so ingenious!

The title of this post reminds me...

    Following the birth of my 3rd child and a subsequent weight gain,  I went to an endocrinologist to check my thyroid levels. When all of my tests returned normal, he told me that I just had DNA that liked to store fat and that it's probably what saved my ancestors from many a long winter. He said I am blessed with "thrifty genes." Doesn't that sound a whole lot better than "You're fat!"


Kellie said...

Oh my goodness, this is so funny! I just LOVE the shirt tail! I never would have thought of that. It even made my husband chuckle. It's just so very clever!

CabinWriter-- said...

Wonderful reading. I, too, am not thrifty, just terribly ashamed when I discard the barely-used foil, or the greasy zip-lock that could be washed. That's consumerism at its peak. Takes a disaster for us to learn. As to genes, I've thought of getting DNA to check on my health, but at my age, telling me the fat around my middle is genetic is about as good as telling me I'll never be thin again!