When I was a kid, I heard a lot about old-timers. The old-timers say never plant garden before May 15. The old-timers say lard makes the best pie crust. The old-timers say a bargain isn’t a bargain unless you need it. . . .
I’d see them everywhere, these old-timers. Farm supply stores. The old mercantile with the floors that creaked. County fairs and festivals. A bench in the shade on Main Street. They were our sages. Weathered. Seasoned. These men and women connected us to wisdom from another day. Sound, practical, downright stubborn advice in the face of everything modern.
I remember being in awe of these folks, particularly when they took a moment to notice me. Sometimes a pat on the head. Other times a simple “You must be Gary and Ann’s girl.”
Old-timer sightings are rare these days. Like passenger pigeon rare. Why is that? Underappreciated? Micro-managed from well-meaning family members or the “it’s for your own good” crowd? Less welcome in the market place?
What does that say to our children and grandchildren? I realize kids are busy these days, with schedules rivaling a CEO, but it seems to me we’re losing something valuable. Old skills, practical solutions. Tried and true remedies. Connection to those who have gone before us.
I propose we do something different. Try talking to the voices of experience. Ask a simple question. Start with relatives and neighbors. Folks from church. Plenty of gold to be mined there.
God willing, we’ll be old-timers someday.
Do you have a special old-timer story to share? Leave me a comment.
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