Tuesday, May 20, 2008


This "save that for good" saying is one of the many things from my childhood in the Ottawa Valley, that bedevil me to this day.

I think the notion of saving your best dress to appear in church on Sunday morning may have been the genesis (great play on words) of this comment on life. Clearly in this picture I had on "Good" things. The shoes are relatively unscathed, the hat...now what is THAT all about? If you look very closely (sorry Gordon and Susan, I'll get at it in Photoshop asap) there is a handbag dangling on those skinny legs. This is clearly an outfit that was saved for "GOOD" and a picture no less, to prove it. We didn't have a lot of photographs in our family. One can assume therefore that these were all GOOD occasions. I'm sure the handbag was my idea entirely!

I cant' tell you what a horrible effect this small saying has had on my life. I save EVERYTHING, not necessarily for good either. This past weekend, due to unforeseen rainy, cold weather, my efforts at outdoor chores were curtailed. This meant no excuse for not tackling my "studio". Since I've been in and out of everyday creativity for months, I decided that a fresh start was in order. "Hoeing" indoors is an apt description. I realized that there is so much that I save "just in case"...."you never know"...."the minute I throw that out I'll need it"....well, that I was saving for something so long ago that I'll likely never do that project again, but "you never know"....

It has occurred to me that this has been an ingrained habit since childhood. I'm old enough that I remember my Mother saving string from packages sent in the mail, and any other tied correspondence. We had a "string ball". Then there were elastics. We had an "elastic ball". We reused tin-foil. We took lunches in the same bag, several times a week...if you remembered the exhortations to "BRING YOUR LUNCH BAG HOME!" Especially if they were Loblaws purchased bags and not just something recycled from a shop. Maple syrup was poured from the over-sized can into the already 'sterilized' old liquor bottles and frozen in the giant basement chest freezer. There wasn't a jar or plastic tub that wasn't re-used. I think this was all pre-Tupperware days, at least at our house it was.

All of this early recycling was undoubtedly due to parents who survived a depression and lived by the rule..."waste not, want not".

I digress. Back to the "Saving that for Good". My elderly Mother, at 90 is STILL saving an outfit for GOOD! Most days, as a friend of mine is wont to say, we dress like "Hobos" ...when not in Paris....I think I'm just saving it all for GOOD.

After reading the newspapers, I'm about to add to the elastic ball that lives in the second drawer down, just below the cutlery. You never know.


  1. Leslie - So nice to talk to a kindred spirit. Being a sewer, crafter, scrapbooker etc. I save everything as well. I do remember the days when we put on our best clothes for special occasions as well. I now tell Kirk that saving clothes for a special day is a seniors trait and I refuse to admit old age.Good to see you today Linda

  2. I suspect you'll have a great number of comments on this hoeing of the studio, great minds think alike, you know. I was hoeing too, didn't get very far, because I was looking through some stuff, and got distracted and there you go, I'm on to something else. It's like my mom use to do every spring we would clean the fabric cabinet, and think of wonderful things to sew, everything would get a good vacum and refold and then the day would be spent somewhat enjoyabley. Good show. Did you get some wonderful ideas.

  3. What a great entry Leslie and an adorable photo of you! It's kind of sad to think that we've been trained to save stuff for "good." Makes me wonder if that's why I haven't used so many of my supplies and yet still hanker after more.

  4. That's the issue exactly. Sometimes I am so blocked, because I always think..."I can't cut this!! There may be some loftier purpose for that particular piece of paper, I'd better SAVE it!" It's very limiting, and something I'd love to conquer. Glad I'm not the only one who suffers from this affliction!

  5. "Saving for Good" was certainly the way I was brought up, and I do recall frequent reminders of the perils of "wanton waste". I got a kick out of the maple syrup (no doubt from Lanark) stored in the freezer in "sterilized" liquor bottles. Ours (from Poltimore Quebec) was stored in "washed out" cream cartons, tightly closed with masking tape and of course, elastic bands. These were securely wedged into the "deep freeze" not far from the hind quarter of beef, (lest one not be able to get out to the store) and the great variety of blanched vegetables, frozen in "rinsed out" milk bags.
    These practices would not be considered "safe" today, but my mother is always able offer a convincing closing remark: "They didn't appear to shorten our days!".

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