OK, I admit it. I have seen mice in my house. These pesky, dirty rodents are unwanted in my house. So, like many of you, I went on a ‘search and destroy’ mode. We cleaned up the kitchen, stuffed steel wool in the cracks and crevices and laid out traps. I decided against the poisons because once the disgusting rodent ate the poison, he would scurry back to his hole in the wall and die. I was not fond of the idea of dead, decaying rodent bodies in the walls of my house, and the smell, yikes. So I spent money on the high tech sonic devices that is supposed to be the equivelent of loud and awful music to the little buggers. I must have a family of deaf mutant mice because those electronic devices only made my money scarce, not the mice. So I tried glue traps. Those work alright, but it does not kill them. I would check my traps in the morning to find one, maybe two mice struggling to free themselves from the modern day tar pit that I had laid out. That meant that I had to carefully pick it up avoiding the front of the mouse so as not to get bit. It also struck me that it might be cruel, not that I care about being cruel to a common house mouse. And those traps are a one-time use item. They are not cheap and you could get a bad batch of glue traps that do not entrap the freeloading rodent. About this time, I had had enough. I bought some old fashoned spring traps and baited them with peanut butter. WHAMMO! Those old style spring traps not only worked, but killed the mouse instantly. There was a satisfying ‘snap’ the the trap being set off, and the best part… they are cheap and reusable. So the mouse trap my father and grandfather used was still the better choice. That got me to thinking, what else is better ‘the old way’?
I am a conservative, which means I believe a person should provide for himself and his family and rely on the government very little. Some tree hugging, sandle wearing reject from the 60’s said that I was destroying mother earth because I did not seperate my recyclables from my trash. I asked him what kind of pen did he use. He showed me his rollerball pen that cost his about $5 each and was disposable. I told him that I was a better steward of Gods earth than he was. He asked how. I said that when he is done with his pen, he will throw it away and that plastic does not decompose easily. I showed him a fountain pen that I made fashioned after the fountain pen my mother gave me. It had a piston filler which meant that when it becomes empty, I can refill it. Nothing is disposed in our landfill. Chalk up another for ‘the old way’.
It is not a bad idea to stock your pantry with food in case of an emergency. I decided to do just that, but I was dismayed to find that I had to either buy canned foods that were sometimes high in sodium, or buy military style MRE’s which are….terrible or dehydrated food that can be somewhat tasteless. I wish I had paid more attention when my mother and grandmother would can food. Preserves, jams, jellies, canned vegitables etc. My mother and grandmother would spend hours in the kitchen during the summer canning so when winter came, we had food. Chalk another one up for ‘the old way’. I think it is time I learn to can.
I have always been attracted to a wrist watch. My childhood heros wore a fancy watch. Where would James Bond be without his special watch that had been modified by ‘Q’? And Jaques Cousteau would always be seen with his divers watch. Time is so important that we have developed the timepiece to help us keep track of the passage of time. Now, I am a gadget guy. I love gadgets. So I was wearing a nice, expensive digital timepiece that would not only keep time, but also give you a temperature reading, an altitude reading, a barometric reading and also have a digital readout of the compass. Water resistant to deeper than I can swim with a backlight. Something an everyday Joe can equate to a sophisticated watch, until it broke. The battery needed to be changed and I accidentally broke off the battery terminal rendering the watch useless. I was distraught until I happened upon my grandfathers old waterproof wind up watch that still worked. Simple in design and plain as it would only keep track of the hour, minute and second. Nothing else to go wrong. This thing must be about 40 or more years old and it still works. Chalk one up for ‘the old way’.
Both my grandmother and my mother-in-law made quilts. My mother-in-law made me a special quilt called a ‘quillow’ which is a quilt that can be folded into a pillow. I can tell you that on a cold night, the quilt my mother-in-law made will keep you warm and is sewn well. It will not frey and is made to be used for years. I was in the market for a new blanket and went to wally-world to purchase it. After a few washings, it started to frey and was soon religated to dog blanket because it was freying and wasn’t really warm. Chalk one up for ‘the old way’. My quillow is now over twenty years old and is no worse for wear.
The point is, sometimes, the old ways are better. Sometimes, modern is not necessarily better. My grandparents are no longer around, neither are my in-laws. These people were full of ideas and I wish I could ‘pick their brains’ for more ideas. Next time someone says they have an idea that is better than the old idea, take a closer look and make a true comparison of the new from the old. Sometimes, new is just…new, not better.