Thank My Parents

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From Polly Carpenter

As my family has taken shelter at my parents’ house in the countryside, I’ve had time to organize and go through things, which has led to some unexpected discoveries and gratitude. To begin, I must thank my parents for the house they left me. I’m certain they never could have anticipated that it would serve as my office or that I would be running my company from the porch, my designated conference room for team meetings. Times are certainly different today as so much of life is taking place indoors, in homes around the world.

I learned a great deal from my mother during my lifetime and am fascinated by the ways I am still learning from her today, in spite of the fact that it has been 7 years since she was alive. Her resourcefulness and preparedness came in handy this week, as power outages spread across southern New England—it was her decision to buy a generator and I, as well as my neighbors without one, are grateful for it. I poured cups of coffee, placed on the old well for them to take. It pales in comparison to the stories my mother told me of her father who employed neighbors on his farm during the Great Depression, but I like to imagine I’m channeling some of his goodwill.

My twenty-eight-year-old son is staying with us and I think about the stories he will tell about this house and this time in history. Together, we’ve been re-creating some of my mother’s recipes, many of which rely on non-perishable canned ingredients, which even my son can now appreciate in a world of farmer’s markets, specialty grocers, and endless takeout.  Still on my list of learned skills I want to pass on to him, as my mother did to me, are practical in nature—cooking, cleaning and gardening.

Together, we are all learning the value in practical skills and resourcefulness. If nothing else, I’m reminded of my parents’ ability to prepare for an emergency every time I go down to the basement to retrieve an item from the emergency freezer.  I want to say thank you to my mother and father for preparing me (and this house) so well.