waste not

As Father’s Day approaches, I have no dreams of being named Father of the Year. Not even in my own house.

You see, at our house I have had to assume the role of making sure the shower spigots are closed down all the way (they aren’t), the lights in empty rooms are off (they never are), the front door is locked (it isn’t even pushed shut most of the time). While the kids frolic, I follow behind and enforce the laws of security and conservation.

A couple of years ago, a commercial showed a father wandering around the house cutting off wasteful utilities. I think he called himself “the enforcer.”

The first time I saw it, I leaped off our couch and screamed:

“That’s me! I’m the enforcer! They’ve stolen my job in the house and made a commercial out of it!”

I suspect that any house not 2 inches deep in running water and burning so many kilowatts that it’s visible from space has an enforcer. Most likely it’s the father, and he no doubt endured one of the many recessions our country has gone through.

Surely you recall stories about survivors of the Great Depres­sion who hid money in attics and under floorboards because they had lived through times when only banks had it. Other, less severe recessions made enforcers of many more: the Copper Panic of 1789; the Depression of 1807; the 1860-61 recession; the Long Depression of 1873-96; the early 1980s recession; and of course, the Great Recession of 2007-09.

Me, I grew up amid the Re­ces­sion of 1958, also known as the Eisenhower Re­ces­sion, according to Wiki­pedia, because Ike was president from 1953 to 1961. Life magazine sent photographers out and found that more than 5 million people – 7 percent of the workforce – were forced out of jobs.

My childhood, then, was one of scarcity. It probably would have been so even if the nation’s money were flowing freely, because we were farm folks. We ate sufficiently because of livestock and a big garden, but we worked hard and never knew excess body fat.

Despite the constant work and hard times, my childhood was as large as all outdoors, literally. Indoors didn’t include the luxuries beyond life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We all learned to conserve, sometimes drastically. I suspect that’s why I am too much of a pack rat today to please my wife.

Anyway, when the kids are tromping through the house on a given weekend, I get little rest because I jump up to turn off bathroom lights and fans and water faucets. I pick up left-behind soda cans and water bottles to determine which belongs to which child.

“Look here, drink all you want, but please finish them before opening a new one,” I constantly nag. “It’s a waste. What if we were going through a recession?”

They never understand, but perhaps that is good. A healthy economy is better than an enforcer’s popularity on Father’s Day.

Reach Glynn Moore at glynn.moore@augustachronicle.com.

More in Life

This artwork, as well as the story that accompanied it in the October 1953 issue of Master Detective magazine, sensationalized and fictionalized an actual murder in Anchorage in 1919. The terrified woman in the image is supposed to represent Marie Lavor.
A nexus of lives and lies: The William Dempsey story — Part 1

William Dempsey and two other men slipped away from the rest of the prison road gang on fog-enshrouded McNeil Island, Washington, on Jan. 30, 1940

File
Minister’s Message: Reorienting yourself to pray throughout the day

No doubt, one of the most remarkable gifts God gives to communicate with his creation is the gift of prayer

The Christ Lutheran Church is seen on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Musicians bring ‘golden age of guitar’ to Performing Arts Society

Armin Abdihodžic and Thomas Tallant to play concert Saturday

Storm Reid plays June Allen in “Missing,” a screenlife film that takes place entirely on the screens of multiple devices, including a laptop and an iPhone. (Photo courtesy Sony Pictures)
On The Screen: ‘Missing’ is twisty, modern, great

I knew “Missing” was something special early on

Puff pastry desserts are sprinkled with sugar. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Puff pastry made simple

I often shop at thrift stores. Mostly for cost, but also out… Continue reading

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Would I do it again?

I ran across some 20-some year-old journal notes rambling on about a 268-foot dive I took

A copy of Prince Harry’s “Spare” sits on a desk in the Peninsula Clarion office on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: Prince Harry gets candid about ‘gilded cage’ in new memoir

“Spare” undoubtedly succeeds in humanizing Harry

The cast of “Tarzan” rides the Triumvirate Theatre float during the Independence Day parade in downtown Kenai, Alaska on Monday, July 4, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Triumvirate swings into the year with ‘Tarzan’, Dr. Seuss and fishy parody

The next local showing of the Triumvirate Theatre is fast approaching with a Feb. 10 premiere of “Seussical”

This vegan kimchi mandu uses crumbled extra-firm tofu as the protein. (Photo by Tressa Dale / Peninsula Clarion)
Meditating on the new year with kimchi mandu

Artfully folding dumplings evokes the peace and thoughtful calm of the Year of the Rabbit

Most Read