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Straightening Nails

Monday, November 09, 2020

I grew up on a small family farm in central Alberta. My parents were married during the Great Depression and lived with rationing during WWII, they learned the hard way about how to be thrifty and were early recyclers and re-users. I was an "only" child; my only sibling was 10 years older and when she reached teenage years I was "the kid". I spent hours in my dad's shop, he was Mr. Fix-it and one item always on his workbench was an old coffee can full of used nails. It was my job to straighten those nails, no incentives or rewards were offered, just the expectation that my task was a very important part of making the wheels turn forward. I am thankful for that task, I learned early about commitment and the importance of being an essential part of a team. Funny how the little tasks when well done make a huge positive difference in our lives. emoticon
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    My Depression era-raised parents did things like hoard rubber bands and save up soap ends. And my mom taught me not to lop the top off strawberries when cleaning them. No, you tweak the leaves off, then pivot out the core with a paring knife. Don’t want to waste that little bit of strawberry. I still do this. And I have the added pleasure of remembering her when I do.
    113 days ago
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    115 days ago
    In the 50s my parents took "home typing" as a 2nd job. The pay was $3 per thousand envelopes..
    As a preschooler my job was to count envelopes. They PAID me. One cent per hundred envelopes.
    So when they got $3.00 for the finished thousand. My "cut: was 30 cents. I felt I was working to help the family.

    Usually we would do 3 to 5 thousand per week. We had 2 manual typewriters. By age 8 I was a very good typist and took my "shift" at the envelopes. When they assigned all girls to typing class in HS, I tested out after 1 day. My speed on day 1 was all that would be expected by the end of the course.
    115 days ago
    I read another story on bent nails. This reminds me of that. If my only contribution is straightening a nail, I can be proud to contribute!
    116 days ago
    I too grew up on a small family farm in Northwest Kansas. I didn't have to straighten nails, but there were plenty of other "chores" around the farm. There is only one thing I remember getting paid for. My Grandpa would sit outside on his little porch (we lived on the same farmstead) and would occasionally give us a quarter to fetch him a beer from the basement emoticon emoticon
    116 days ago
    Oh yeah: our most important tasks tend NOT to have external recompense!! We just keep right on straightening those nails anyhow!!
    117 days ago
    That was a valuable lesson to learn so early in life.
    117 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/10/2020 4:04:01 AM
    You learned a good lesson. I think it would be hard to straighten nails.
    117 days ago
    Excellent example of responsibility - wish more people understood it.
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    117 days ago
    I remember our tough times during the 50's. My Dad worked for Ford Motors, and there was constant striking and hardship for all. Like cardboard in shoes to cover up the holes... emoticon
    117 days ago
    117 days ago
    (I keep trying to explain this to my Divine Miss O, LOL)
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    P.S. I hope you're well. We're digging out today... first time in 20 years the City stopped moving due to SNOW... but the sky is now brilliantly blue (so welcome after days and days of grey) and the sun is SHINING oh so brightly!
    118 days ago
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