The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

January 14, 2014

These are a few of my favorite things

By Peggy Goodrich, columnist
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — What are your favorite things? Think about it.

There is a song from “Sound of Music” about a few of my favorite things: “raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with string.”

The list goes on and on. Everybody’s list is different. Aren’t things wonderful?

So many of us grew up in an era when “things,” as we know them now, were pretty scarce. We got lots of hand-me-downs and passed things on to others. We were glad to get them and   equally glad to share with others.

Toys and games were few and far between at Christmas and birthdays. We felt fortunate to get fruit, candy and things we needed anyway, like underwear, for Christmas.

Birthday celebrations were not so big back then. We had our favorite birthday cake and meal and then served candy to everyone. If we didn’t serve candy, we got dunked in the pond.

That was just an idle threat, as Mother always had the candy in a large bowl and hidden for us to run and get when everyone threatened to dunk us. It was fun to pass the candy around and be the honored one. I can’t remember getting presents but we didn’t miss something we never had.

We had few clothes but really took care of the things we had. We went right in and changed as soon as we got home from school or church and put on our “everyday” clothes.

We hung up the clothes we had worn and aired them. We didn’t wash them just because we had worn them an hour or two for church.

We weren’t dirty, we just didn’t wash our clothes to death. They were laundered when they were soiled but that was all. They were always perfectly mended with buttons on, etc. Another thing ... they were always pressed and ironed beautifully.

Our books were our prized possessions. We were taught to turn the pages of our book carefully and NEVER turn the pages down at the corner to mark our place. I sometimes see people licking their fingers and “flipping” a page and I just cringe. One has to be carefully taught!

Consequently, our books are still in perfect condition and beautiful.

Most people now have many, many things and games and toys. I say “have” when I could say “had” because so many people do not take care of their things.

They treat everything as if it were meant to be disposable. Toys are left in the yard overnight.

Furniture is discarded along with clothes and household items when they get tired of them, but long before they are worn out.

Those of us who keep everything are the opposite extreme, thinking that someday we might need it. How do we know when we might just need that old cheer-leading skirt again? But it is such good fabric!

It is almost impossible to discard good things — such a shame to throw perfectly good things away. I never buy anything I don’t like so am surrounded by things I love, and it is nearly impossible to get rid of!

 Even if I do pass it on I want it to have a good home and not throw anything in the trash that might be useful to someone else.

Most of my peers grew up in that era when things were scarce. We needed what we had and had what we needed.

However, we did pass things on and didn’t store them for later. That is why those old houses, no matter how big, had little storage space and small closets. Storage space was not necessary.

Grandma had one good dress for Sunday-go-to meeting, and Grandpa had one suit for dress occasions. Their other clothes were work clothes and didn’t need special storage and care.

When we get right down to basics, what we need most is love. We need someone to share our lives with and someone who cares and we can care about them. We need love of families and friends.

If we don’t have love, we have nothing. The most important things in our lives are not things.

Another basic is our health. I never realized that quite so vividly as when Jim’s health began to fail. I think it is remarkable just how well he copes and does what the doctor says. He is so disciplined.

Since I have had this knee and hip injury, I realize how precious good health is. I thank God every day that I am able to care for Jim and keep things going. We almost don’t appreciate our heath until it begins to fail.

So important in our lives is our ability to learn and use our minds. We take our memories for granted until we can’t remember names any more nor where we put things. In our family, it takes two to tell a story.

If I am telling the story, Jim fills in the blanks and vice versa. It would be awful if we didn’t know the same people or remember the same events in our lives.

Equally as important in our lives are our freedoms — freedom to live in this wonderful country with all its blessings and opportunities.

Freedom to worship as we please and celebrate our religious beliefs. We can vote any way we choose without fear of consequences. We can live anywhere and any way we want to live, and do as we please.

Our basic necessities of food, clothing, and shelter are important and we fail to think of them sometimes as our favorite things but take them for granted.

We lived a long time without television and cellphones and microwave ovens and had pretty good lives. Now, those things become absolute necessities. We came into this world with nothing and will go out with nothing, but we sure had lots of favorite things in between!

Jim’s very favorite meal is ham with brown beans, fried light bread, fried potatoes, with coconut cream pie for dessert. Because of his health, he doesn’t get those very often, but that would be a dying man’s last request. I often make this easy pie, and it runs a pretty close second.

Tropical Paradise Pie

11⁄2 cups sugar

6 tablespoons butter, melted

3 eggs

11⁄2 tablespoons flour

11⁄ 2 tablespoons corn meal

3⁄4 teaspoon vanilla

1⁄2 cup coconut

1 small can crushed pineapple, undrained

1⁄2 cup finely chopped nuts

Combine all ingredients and pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake about one hour in 300 degree oven or until golden brown. Cool before cutting.

Send your comments to: Peggy Goodrich, Food For Thought, P.O. Box 1192, Enid, OK 73702.