Saturday, March 6, 2010

A little of my history

Today I have a story to tell you about my father. He was a very thrifty man. He wasted nothing. Back then I wasn't impressed by it, and I even dared to call him cheap on one, and only one, occasion. His reaction? He pulled out his checkbook and proceeded to give me a lesson in economics. I was fully aware from that day on of the cost to run a household.
(left to right Dad, my brother Mike, Fernando a foreign exchange student and me) 

He had some of the most amazing talents. The man could scrape a peanut butter jar so clean it looked like there had never been anything in it. This is a skill that I've been working on perfecting for years. It makes me grin every time I get to the bottom of the jar and start to scrape the sides.

Bread bags were never thrown away when the loaf was finished. And yes, he always ate the crusts. He saved each bag and reused them. Most of them transported fresh vegetables from his garden to friends, family and neighbors. When he became a grandfather those bags were used to bring "grandpa cookies" to the kids.
(Dad proudly wearing his boy scout leader uniform)

Dads casual and work attire was grey work pants and shirts. When the collars on his shirts started to fray you would think he would have replaced the shirt. No, he would carefully remove the collar, turn it over and sew it back on. He said that the other side was perfectly good and had a lot of wear left in it.

Once when he was attempting to instill the "waste not, want not" theory in me, he told me a story about one of his cousins. He said that the cousins family had been wealthy but very wasteful and eventually lost their fortune. On the other hand, his family was very careful about not wasting anything and that God always provided them with what they needed. To this day I don't know if that was fact or fiction, but I'll take his word for it. He never steered me wrong.

He had a heart of gold, a faith that could not be shaken, a love for his children and a passion for flying. Flight may just be a post for another day.
(one of the last pictures ever taken of my dad)

The reason I'm telling you all this is to impressively lead up to my silly little post for tomorrow.

See you all then.


  1. Oh Ann, you are so cute in that photo! Your dad instilled the right values in you, Ann! You are fortunate to have your dad for a long time. I lost mine to cancer when i was 18. I miss him terribly. I am excited about tomorrow's post! Teehee! :)

  2. Being thrifty is a trait I admire. Ask my kids... they are always teasing or rolling their eyes at me. But I think some of it is (finally) beginning to wear off on them. Very sweet pictures... can't wait for tomorrows post!

  3. He sounds like a terrific dad. I am trying to instill those same values in myself. I have started trying to reuse anything I can, in order to save money. It's amazing how many perfectly good things we threw away. Once I have mastered this way of life, I would like to pass that along to my daughters.

  4. Your dad sounds like he was a wonderful dad! Such wise advice he gave and being thrifty and practical is important for all of us. Can't wait until tomorrow's post!

  5. I really dont remember the grandpa cookie bag, I really wish I did. It made me tear up and cry just a little to see his pictures and to hear about him. I do have to laugh because I SO remember him brushing the crumbs on the counter in a pile and then into his hand and eating them. I also remember the huge box of instant milk he always had. I really do miss that man alot!! Thanks for sharing mom, by the way we bought a cute little kitty that Ian wanted to name Stacey, she's all white. ttyl, Amanda

  6. Not only does he sound like a terrific Dad but a genuinely great guy. Love your story and the photos that gave us the visual walk down memory lane with you.

    And yes, you are as cute as a lil' button in that first pic :)

  7. Your Dad is indeed a great man. He has lofty principles and never failed to pass them on to you. He is a person worth emulating! :D

    You look so cute in the first pic! ^_^

  8. Wow, this was indeed an impressive post. Did Duke write it for you?

    I could see a lot of my own dad in your's. For he was an expert at managing funds in comparison to me. In fact, I would match him up with the best of them. When he had to quit pipelining in 1967 because of his back, we went for two years without any income by him selling off assets and making everything last a lot longer than it was supposed to.

    By the way, I made Eagle Scout in 1972 out of Troop 76 in Cassville, MO. Was he a scoutmaster or assistant scoutmaster around then?

  9. I think things that certain people do, like being thrifty, are because of their personal experiences. While others might not understand, if you look closely, you always see a good reason there.

  10. Your dad sounds wonderful! My parents and grandparents never wasted anything either. I'm slowly getting to that point also, but it's been a long road :)
    It's amazing how we got to be the "throw away" generation.
    Have a wonderful week!

  11. That's a very good example to learn. Your Dad is really a wonderful man.

  12. Wow, Ann, this is an awesome tribute to your dad. I found this very touching and it reminds me to call my dad this morning to let him know how much I love him.

  13. What a great tribute to your dad! The details here brought back some good memories of my thrifty grandparents and parents.

  14. I love people like your Dad. Waste not, want not!

  15. I'm part of a throwaway generation too. I should appreciate more what I have and to not waste a single thing. My parents were what they called "Depression babies" so I should have learned more from them. OK, from this day forward, I'll try to be better about stretching a dollar.

    p.s. Love all the pics. Your dad was a smart man.

  16. Ann, thank you for the cookware comment. Truth is, that was paid post, so I antedate it way back in Feb. I needed to link the brand of the cookware, but the one we use is also nameless... and yes, also cheap! Hahaha. :D

  17. I like "Dad" stories...

  18. Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

  19. Nice story about your dad, Ann. My dad died when I was very young and so we always had to be careful with money. I'm not really "thrifty" per se, but we are careful with our money and try to do things ourselves before hiring anyone. We cut corners here and live within our means, which has been a blessing in this bad economy. I think the world needs more of your dad. :)

  20. Tes, thanks my dad passed away in 1993 and although I was much older than you were when you lost yours it was still way too soon

    LDH it's amazing what you think they aren't paying attention to. I swore I would never be thrifty like my dad

    Tahtimbo I'm not always good at it, but I try my hardest.

    Beaded tail he was a very wonderful dad

    Amanda too bad you don't remember the cookies, I can't believe I didn't think of the crumbs and powdered milk. Can't wait to see pics of the kitty

    Roschelle he was the best. and thanks

    junezach he sure is. yep I was cute, wonder what

    FishHawk I wrote it Duke proof read it for me. i don't think my dad was still with the boy scouts in 72, impressive though you were and Eagle

    Ratty I believe you are right. my dad grew up during the depression so that's what he knew

    Audrey yes he was, thaks I've got a long way to go to but I try

    Vanilla seven yes he was

    Me-Me thanks so much. glad it reminded you to call your dad

    Bossy Betty thanks, it's always fun to look back on fond memories

    Alterity Button Jewelry me too, but I think it drives my husband nuts sometimes

    Kathy I sometimes wish I threw away more than I do, hence the label "pack rat"

    Tes, you're welcome , cheap cookware works just as well :)

    Grace, me too,

    Anonymous if only I could come up with more good stories

    Lin thanks, I'm not always thrifty, I tend to go through wasteful phases but thriftyness is in my blood anyway. :)

  21. I am waiting with baited breath now for tomorrow. His thriftiness is something I wish I had instilled in me when I was younger. The money I wasted, but that is for another post.....

  22. TFS ... it's nice to meet your Dad :D

  23. Manoverboard oh geese, I hope I don't disappoint you, I feel the It took a lot of years before I learned to stop throwing money away

    Vickie, I'm betting he would have like you bunches, just like me :)

  24. What a sweet post! Your Dad sounds like a true gem. My parents have become more thrifty as of late, but they weren't always that way. It's been rubbing off on me.

  25. I loved this story. It brought a few tears to my eyes. Your dad sounds like he was a wonderful - and very smart - man. He reminds me of my grandparents, both of whom I miss dearly. My grandpa passed in 96, and my grandma passed in 97. It still feels like yesterday.

  26. What a wonderful story about your dad!!! I want to write one this month about mine.


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