3 Lessons My Veterinarian Dad Taught Me (Part 3)
The scarce slush of a few drops of almond milk swirled around in the inside walls of the big blue carton. “Thanks for leaving me some almond milk!” she says sarcastically. We both laugh because we both know. I, once again, left about 3 tablespoons of milk in the carton. It’s not like I put empty cartons back in the fridge (I’m not that insane.) I simply drink or eat what I want and rarely stuff myself.
You see, I have carried one of my father’s life lessons with me my whole life and have possibly taken it too far. “Take what you eat, but eat what you take.” Legend has it he picked up this little phrase from his Army days while in the chow line. Apparently the cooks would bark at the privates as they moved through the line so at to not waste food (and possibly so that they had less to clean) Other possibilities for this phrase come from his parents who grew up out of the depression.
Whatever the reason, it has stuck with me to try and not be wasteful. This idea goes leaks over into my art life too. Paint tubes are squeezed to the very last (I even have one of those toothpaste contraptions that you slip on the end to help you curl the tube and get every last bit) Paintings that are less than stellar received the paint-over treatment. And brushes are used until the very last hair is barely hanging on.
So be generous and thoughtful, but don’t leave 3 drops of almond milk in the refrigerator. If you do, at least buy some flowers.