Using leftovers. I enjoy re-doing and re-making things. I always have. Taking what I have on hand and making something useful again:
- Whatever I might have in the pantry or frig becomes a one-time kind of meal.
- Scraps of cloth become a comforter, pillow or something for the wall. S
- craps of wood become art, wooden trays or even furniture.
Things that began life as one thing are “up-cycled” into a new life. So where did this tendency come from?
For me, some came out of necessity. Using and reusing was a way of life in the world I grew up in.
- Dad, an auto salvage operator took old cars apart. They were scrapped out for usable parts and metal. Some parts were refurbished and resold, others just reused as is on another vehicle.
- Clothes were re-done and handed down. If they were too worn out, the cloth was remade into quilts, comforters or some other useful item (remember cloth dust rags?).
- Mom composted in the garden and turned grass clippings and leaves into flower beds (no pesticides were used!).
Today, it is called being “green” by recycling, up-cycling and re-purposing. For us it was being practical and frugal. We were not poor, we just conserved cash for what only cash could buy and avoided waste of things and time. In my small town there was retail, but not the Walmart kind of retail. Many things had to be ordered through mail order catalogs or we made the occasional shopping trip to “the city”.
In addition, there was my grand-parents farm where nothing was wasted. Even what did go into the trash was used as fuel for the stove. Paper, bits of wood and anything that would burn would make it into the incinerator. Along with some of the methods used by my parents, my grand-parent’s cows, pigs and chickens ate, in addition to their regular feed, vegetable and fruit scraps. The dogs and barn cats were glad recipients of meat scraps and bones (after they were boiled for broth, of course). Bailing wire was the all purpose duct-tape for farm machinery (until a proper repair could be made). Well, you get the idea.
At the same time, I do not consider myself “cheap”. I enjoy nice new things. I have some of the finest Irish China, French and German crystal and German flatware there is. We only use it a few times a year and I do not feel one bit guilty about it. None-the-less, that thing in me that is profoundly satisfied when an old object is remade and given new life is undeniable. Aside from the practical aspects, there is actually a deeper root to all of this.
Loaves and Fishes – Divine Leftovers
It is found in the two stories of multiplying loaves and fishes as told in the Gospels*. In both cases after the multiplication had occurred and everyone had eaten their fill, Jesus had the leftovers gathered up and collected. Why would the Son of God who had just multiplied food do that? To show off? Not really in his nature. To give a sign to the disciples of God’s ability to provide? Perhaps. The answer is in the text/ Jesus said: “Gather up that which remains so that nothing is lost.” Jesus did not want to waste the leftovers! Wow, what a concept. God, who created everything, does not waste, even leftover bread and fish.
Continue reading Leftovers – The Loaves and Fishes of Life