Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Turn Off That Water, Girl!

Bless her "green" heart, my Gramma Greene never ceases to amaze me. Even nine years after her passing, I can still hear her raspy voice. "Shut that refrigerator door! You're wasting electricity!" I was never allowed to linger inside the fridge, in search of a snack. My bathwater could only be three inches deep. Seriously. We're talking hard-core conservation efforts.

At Gramma's house, dishwater and rinse water were filled in the morning in buckets, which sat in each side of the sink. Cold, murky dishwater that contained food floaters. There was a distinct odor that lingered around the sink, growing stronger as the day progressed. Every night, along with the coffee grounds and egg shells, the dishwater and rinse water buckets would be taken outside to use in the garden.

As a young girl, the buckets in the sink, especially the dishwater, made me gag. Lucky for me, Gramma always washed the dishes, so my tiny fingers never really had to touch the water. I just scraped the dish, and tossed it in the bucket. The only thought that ever crossed my mind was, that must be an old-fashioned thing to.

Never, in a million years, did I ever realize that Gramma was practicing the ever-so trendy, recycle, reuse, and renew technique! Gramma Greene was truly green back in the day!

With the sudden onset of the absolute worst drought I've ever lived through, I have succumbed to Gramma's practices. I'm filling dishwater (in the morning) in a bucket in the sink (despite the crinkled noses of not only my daughters, but my husband), and reusing the water to give my plants a drink in the evenings.

It feels familiar and good, and I can almost feel Gramma there with me, walking around the garden, distributing the water. The once, foul scent, has become as pleasant as being acquainted with an old friend, bringing a smile to this gardener's face.

I can close my eyes as I pass the sink, inhaling the familiar scent, and hear Gramma's raspy, nagging voice, "Tsk! Turn off that water, girl! As your great grandmother Phipps would say, waste not, want not!"

23 comments:

  1. In Western Washington, we look at the sky and say, "Turn off that water!" But conservation is a good idea no matter where you live. Yay for the green Granmma.

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  2. Oh, how I wish it were so! I'd give my left arm for rain. Except, then I'd have to learn to type with my toes. Maybe I'll just offer up my left foot!

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  3. Just lost my initial comment in cyber space. It's interesting how our grandparents lived and how it relates to what we are trying to do today. I hope that one day my son will want to live like we do. We do our best to recycle, reuse and reduce (sometimes I struggle with the reduce). Nice to meet you through the campaign.

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  4. Same to you, Stacy! And yes, it is interesting. My grandmother taught me so much that I took for granted when I was younger. What I would give to go back and redo things differently. Like telling her how much I admired her.

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  5. I'm sure she knew that Candy. Of course, that's a good reminder to tell our loved ones what we think.

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  6. Oh, my grandma was a sweet precious Irish woman who definitely sounds a lot like yours. I miss her so very much.

    TURN OFF THAT WATER, GIRL!!!!!!!!!!! *wink*

    Thanks for the visit and comment over at my house, fellow campaigner. :-)

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  7. Ah! This is awesome. I have to constantly remind myself to conserve better. It is more important than we think. We take so much for granted.

    I am a fellow campaigner and a new follower of your blog! Can't wait to learn more about you. :)

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  8. I love this post. I get a good image with the words you used like food floaters. What memories!

    I'm a fellow campaigner.

    The Write Soil

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  9. AH! We definitely have a similar fear of food floaters. I feel gaggy thinking about it. Good post :) Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm a new follower now <3

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  10. Oh my! It's so good to come inside from the first refreshing rain in months (I weeded in the rain!) to a list full of sweet comments! Thank you, Kelley, Dawn, Abby, Robyn & Stacy (again!). Thanks for following! I'm headed over to our campaign list now.

    My goal is to visit five of you each day!!!

    This is an awesome opportunity for all of us!

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  11. How lovely to be re-enacting the words of your Gramma and in such a good cause. I can remember hating the messy bits at the bottom of the washing up bowl... come to think of it I'm still not so keen today, but I've done the same when we have drought periods here (today is torrential rain by the way).

    We're in the same Campaign group so I hope to get to know you better soon.

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  12. Ah, hope you survive the rain. Can't we all just get a bit, here and there, dying out a tad between rains? Maybe, in a perfect world!

    Looking forward to chatting!

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  13. Hello from a fellow blogging writer campaigner. I enjoyed this post because my Grammie Kirkby taught me loads of things all of which I remember fondly and this post made me realise I am quite lucky! I am looking forward to reading more of your posts as well as going through the blogging campaign with you. Please stop by my blog on Thursday when I will be announcing the launch of an exciting giveaway.

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  14. Isn't it funny how we end up doing things we never thought WE would do?!

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  15. Hi Candy, (what a lovely name)I am a newbie fellow campaigner, and I am finding your blog very interesting. I feel as though I know you already.... big dreams aye! LOL you sound like me...Hope to see you around and you can show me the ropes. Will pop back later for another look if you don't mind. Nice meeting you.

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  16. Sweet story--what a visionary grandma! BTW, I just awarded you an Appreciated Follower Award. I always enjoy your posts and replies. Swing on by when you can to pick up the logo!

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  17. Hello, Candy. I just popped over from She Writes. Love your story. I miss my Grandma every day. I lost her in Dec. of '06 and there are still days that I think "I need to call Grandma and tell her..."

    xo, Cheryl

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  18. Sounds like a great picture book idea Candy :)
    We didn't do the dishwater thing, but we were taught to turn the water off while we were brushing our teeth, and it became a lifelong (good) habit!

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  19. Oh my! I'm so sorry, gmail has not notified me of these last 5 comments! Thank you so much for all of you who've stopped by and said hello!
    Hello to my fellow campaigners, Catherine, thank you for the award! She Writer visitors, glad you stopped by!!! Y'all are awesome. :))

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  20. Thanks for stopping by/commenting on my blog! Isn't it interesting how scents can bring us right back?

    On the green topic: Husband and I are remodeling our kitchen w/ materials from the Habitat for Humanity Store and Craigslist ... and have discovered it's much more hip to say we're green than we're broke.

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  21. Isn't that the truth! Green is better than broke...love it! Congrats on the Liebster Award:))

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  22. What a lovely tribute to your grandmother. My Grandma Rish was the same way, unfortunately I was required to help wash the dishes. My brother, sister, and I would fight over who had to wash, rinse or dry. Washing was always the worst - that water was NASTY!

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  23. Great post! Philosophical, green, reminiscent - you hit all the good stuff. Even if she was watching the bill, Grandma knew what she was talking about!

    Stopping by via group #53 over at the Campaign! Excited to read more of your stuff!

    (But I may skip the scary stuff - I can't shake the scaries before bedtime, so I'll try to visit in the morning when I can take all day to forget the fear!) ;)

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