Sunday, June 16News That Matters

Of Negatives And Positives

By the middle of the morning on Saturday Diane’s kids were up and watching cable TV in the next room, eating freshly baked cinnamon rolls. Survival Sally and Diane continued their conversation.

“Sally, I love your money saving tips,” said Diane, “and I think Duane will, too.”

“Uh, oh, here comes the ‘But,’” said Sally laughingly.

“Well, yes,” Diane began. “All this talk about being prepared for bad things to come is important I’m sure, but it all sounds so negative. I don’t want to bring my kids up in that kind of an atmosphere.”

“As Sam is fond of saying, ‘The world is an unfriendly place.’ The trick is getting through life the best way possible. It doesn’t all have to be a downer. We can learn to do things that are interesting and fun. And like Sam also points out, a lot depends on having the right attitude.”

“Can you give me an example?”

“Sure. Let’s take gardening. You can grumble about pulling weeds, or you can rejoice in giving your plants what they need to produce food for you. There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of eating something you’ve grown yourself.”

“We don’t have much room here to garden though,” said Diane.

“Start small. Ever heard of a book called Square Foot Gardening? It’s all about growing vegetables in neatly arranged beds, rather than having long rows. It’s an easy to manage system. You’d be surprised what you can grow in a small space. Even if you had a patch of lettuce or Swiss chard, you’d have something you didn’t have before the season started. Just having a couple bowls of your own salad means not having to buy it somewhere else.”

“My grandmother used to have a giant garden and canned lots of green beans and tomato juice. There’s no way I could do all that.”

“Now who’s being negative, Diane?’ asked Sally. Diane blushed. “as I said, start small. I’ve got a couple ideas to make it interesting for the kids, so it can be a fun thing for everybody.”

“I’m all for that,” said Diane.

“Gardening shows the importance of preparing ahead of time, too. You have to think about where you’re going to garden and what you might like to grow. Winter’s the perfect time for looking through seed catalogs or shopping online for seeds and other things you’ll need in the spring. There are even some things you can start growing indoors while it’s still cold outside.”

“Now you’ve got me curious,” Diane said.

“Great. Let’s get back to your question about negativity. Here’s another thought for you. I’m sure your brother Bill would tell you that in electricity there’s a place for the negative and the positive. It’s that way with your own preparations. It may be a negative world, but you’re turning it into something positive for your very survival.”

“I suppose you’re right, Sally.”

“I know there’s a lot of bad news out there, Diane. Sam’s good at keeping up on that sort of thing. To go happily on your way as if nothing was wrong would just be foolish, but you can’t let it get you down either.” She reached over and patted Diane’s hand. “We’ve got our families and friends to think of.”

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