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Posts tagged ‘generations’

How Green Was My Garden

June 9, 2016

Susan Marg

In my last post, I took exception to an article blaming British baby boomers for their children forsaking gardening. I still stand by my point that each generation is different from every other generation, but I also note that certain interests and talents are passed along. A case in point: the pleasure I get from taking care of the garden I certainly got from my father.

a_0000029AWhen I was a young girl, my father spent his free time in the backyard planting and weeding. He grew beautiful roses and peonies, placing cucumbers among the flowers, so they would not be noticeable. He cultivated tomatoes on the far side of the detached garage, frequently checking on them, as they turned from green to red and ripe.

I recently went back to the family history my husband and I had written for my parents’ anniversary to see what we had said about my father’s favorite pursuit. My mother remembered that he “spent from early spring to late fall out in the yard blissfully gardening.” I recollected a few incidents, including one spring, long after I had left home, when he had discovered that a migrating bird had laid her eggs in one of his larger flower pots. What could he do, despite his lack of patience, but wait for the ducklings to hatch and fly the coop? My dad, a hardworking businessman, never mentioned his outdoor activities at all.

Do you spend your time in the garden? Do you have a favorite flower? What about your parents? Why not write about it? As English author P.G. Wodehouse remarked, “Flowers are happy things.” And they bring back wonderful memories.

© 2016 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

Why Can’t We All Get Along?

September 24, 2015

Susan Marg

© racorn

© racorn

Millennials, born between 1981 and 2000, have never known a world without computers. They get all of their information and do most of their socializing on the Internet. I find that amazing.

Political, social, and cultural events are part of what makes us who we are. We’re often closer to those our own age, give or take a few years, than we are to our parents. We have more in common with those who experienced the same things growing up that we did – the same music, the same movies, the same technology — or lack of technology. We visit the same malls and shop at the same stores as our friends.

I remember my two-year old nephew, who’s a Millennial, loading a movie he wanted to watch into the VCR. He didn’t have to ask Mom or Dad. He just did it. This was in 1990, about ten years before DVDs became popular and no one had ever heard of streaming. Watching him I thought: well, so much for learning delayed gratification. Yep, that’s something Millennials have never learned.

Millennials are different from previous generations. And that’s neither good nor bad. We all have our faults and foibles, but that doesn’t mean we can’t all get along.

Last month in the August 23 issue of Parade, actor Chris Elliott, a baby boomer, and his daughter, actress Abby Elliott, acknowledge the generation gap. In the article they discuss how they stay close. It helps that they are in the same business, show business, and they have each other’s back. They also believe that the family that laughs together stays together. In other words, it helps to have a sense of humor.

Offering advice to her elders, Abby points out that “LOL” does not mean “Lots of Love.” (For those who don’t know, it means: “Laughing our Loud.”) From her perspective, writing “RIP LOL” in sympathy would not be appropriate.

While I reserve the right to interpret “LOL” any way I want, I won’t be putting it on a condolence card anytime soon.

© 2015 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

A Little Perspective, Please

March 15, 2015

Susan Marg

Different generations see things differently, as the story I received in an email shows very clearly. It goes like this…

Photo by: Road – © muha04

At the grocery store, a young cashier suggested to the older woman customer that she should bring her own bags, reminding her that plastic bags are not good for the environment.

The woman apologized and commented, “We didn’t have this ‘green thing’ back in my earlier days.”

The clerk, not hiding her annoyance, responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

The older lady, hoping to avoid an argument, but wanting to put the issue in perspective, went on to say, “Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store, in turn, sent them back to the plant to be washed, sterilized, and refilled. But we didn’t have the “green thing” in our day.


Grocery stores packed our purchases in brown paper bags that we reused for numerous things. Most memorable was using them as covers for our schoolbooks. This ensured that public property, as the school provided the books for our use, was not defaced by our scribbling. Still, we were able to personalize our books by writing on the cover. But, too bad we didn’t do the ‘green thing’ back then.

“We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty, instead of using a throw-away cup or plastic bottle. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced dull razor blades instead of throwing the razor away. When mailing a fragile item, we made do with wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. 

 But, no, we didn’t have the ‘green thing’ back then.”

“We walked up stairs because we didn’t have an escalator in every building. We walked to the grocery store, rather than climbing into a 300-horsepower machine to go two blocks. We exercised by working or walking to work, so we didn’t need to run on treadmills requiring electricity. 

But you’re right. We didn’t have the ‘green thing’ in our day.


We washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the disposable kind. We dried our wash on a line, not in an energy-gobbling dryer. To cut the grass, we used a push mower, rather than one that ran on gasoline. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their older relatives, and, no, they weren’t always in latest fashion.

 But, young lady, you’re right; we didn’t have the ‘green thing’ in our day.

We had one television and one radio in the house, not in every room. And the television had a small screen the size of a handkerchief. In the kitchen we chopped and mixed by hand, not owning an appliance for each and every task. 

 And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a satellite signal in order to find the nearest burger joint. But you’re right; we didn’t have the ‘green thing’ back then.”

Let’s remember how we once lived, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll be able to bridge the generation gap.

© 2015 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved