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Anyone Can Do It!

Submitted by: sally on June 12, 2011
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Anyone Can Do It!

I’m living, breathing proof that anyone can learn anything at any age!

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Since early childhood I, being the youngest of five, really never tried to excel in anything in particular. Oh, I had lots of interests but nothing that I wanted to pursue. I didn’t need to, I was …

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I’m living, breathing proof that anyone can learn anything at any age!


Since early childhood I, being the youngest of five, really never tried to excel in anything in particular. Oh, I had lots of interests but nothing that I wanted to pursue. I didn’t need to, I was the ‘baby’. And the odds are another member of my family had already been there and done that anyway.

So I trained as a nurse and worked in that field for over 22 years. When I retired, I discovered I didn’t know squat, except for health related issues, of course. And to make matters worse I didn’t even want to know how to cook, sew or garden. Sounded like more work to me! I was the “If you can’t buy it in a can or frozen you don’t need it” person. Fast food, instant everything, hey, why not? It supports the economy, don’t you know? Saves valuable time for other things. Yes, I had a T.V. back then. (But not for about 20 years now).

Fast forward to single, retired and living on a limited income. Could I learn to cook, can, sew and garden in order to supplement my own existence at the ripe old age of 65? Where to start and could I do it?

One thing is necessary to even attempt such a thing–a sense of humor and being able and willing to laugh at your own mistakes, disasters and failings. One example was my first pressure cooker adventure. It ended well, but not before I ran out of the house into the yard because I was certain it was ‘gonna blow‘. It didn’t, but my sister almost wet herself when I told her the story. Oh, by the way, she CAN cook, sew, use a pressure cooker, and work, as well as raise a child.

So fast forward again, I’m 72 now and have actually made bread (I’m getting better at it), matzoh, and tortillas. I’ve successfully started seeds and transplanted the seedlings and not killed a single one of them.

I started to can veggies (I’m a vegetarian) although with fear and trembling and after much, much research.

The drying of vegetables came easier. It’s actually quite fun to dehydrate veggies. I did start out using frozen chopped or sliced foods but soon graduated to preparing fresh veggies, herbs and fruit. The extra work preparing the food made me feel as if I had accomplished more, even though the results were about the same.

I have to say, it’s rather mind boggling to feel at a loss when dealing with common terms that are second nature to folks who have been raised using them or learned early on. Cake flour, all purpose, and bleached? And what do they each do best? Baking soda, baking powder, what the heck is leaven? Don’t laugh. Please!

My ah-hah moment occurred when it dawned on me that there are lots of so-so cooks, as well as no-cooks out there. I. Am. Not. Alone. The bread doesn’t have to be perfect. (BTW, they DO airbrush those photos in the food magazines). And as a matter of fact, I happen to like thick tortillas. And a casserole can be delicious even if it’s a little on the ‘watery’ side. I’ve learned you’d be surprised at what a little cheese sprinkled on top can add (rescue) in a dish.

In addition to ‘homemaking’ skills, I’ve learned that refilling the brake fluid on a car isn’t all that difficult as long as you find the correct thingy to pour the fluid into. You know what? With a car, as well as in the home, it matters not if you know the correct terminology to accomplish your mission.

One of my favorite quotes is: “If you never fail, you will never learn anything“.

And you can always learn, even when you’re old as dirt!!!

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Comments

17 comments | RSS feed for comments of this post

  1. 6-12
    5:16
    am

    This has got to be one of my favorite posts of all time. I love what you have accomplished and your attitude toward all of it. Encouraging and inspiring. I hope you will keep us posted on all the ‘new’ things you are doing!

  2. 6-12
    7:24
    am

    Sal I know exactly what you mean. I never knew how to or even wanted to know these things till later in years. I’m like you, I’ve made all the “funnies” in bread, canning and also dehydrating but I love learning and getting it accomplished!

    Keep it up and you go girl!!

  3. 6-12
    7:49
    am

    Sal, your attitude is so inspiring. Just what I needed this morning!

  4. 6-12
    8:03
    am

    What a great way this post was to start my morning. I’m 60 and feeling sorry for myself – cuz I have to do STUFF that I’ve been doing all my life! You’ve made it an adventure – how refreshing! Thank you for making me smile!

  5. 6-12
    9:07
    am

    Great post!
    Thanks for sharing..I learned to water bath can last year and I am going to pressure can this year. A little nervous but if I have to run out back then oh well. he he funny store to share?
    Granny Trace

    http://www.grannytracescrapsandsquares.com

  6. 6-12
    9:19
    am

    Thank you all for your kind comments! Have a wonderful day, Sal

  7. 6-12
    9:35
    am

    Dear Sal, we all have our expertize going through life. As a Nurse you helped many go through hard times. Not all can do that. You made my day and you have inspired many to try. Their first loaf of bread, wow, The smell while baking, the first bite, yum. Will be 70 this year. I felt the same way when I first used the pressure cooker. It is fun to learn something new everyday. Everything is possible. Thank you.

  8. 6-12
    9:37
    am

    I think it was Ben Franklin who said
    “I have not failed, I’ve learned one of the 10,000 ways that doesn’t work.”

    I like that! Inspiring post, thanks for sharing. I’ve been doing some of these things for years, but am now facing the loss of my job after 23 years and will be learning new things soon. I want to try to stay home and generate income from here. Still exploring the options at this point. I’ve got another 3-4 months before the job is gone.
    And I can’t “retire” officially for many years (I’m 48).

  9. 6-12
    10:42
    am

    Sal, you said it best; a sense of humor is an absolute necessity to learn new things at a “mature” age. Keep up your can-do spirit. After all those years nursing domestic things should be a walk in the park.

  10. 6-12
    12:32
    pm

    Sal, what a feeling of kinship I had, while reading your post. All the way through it, I found myself smiling with tears in my eyes. We need to keep learning, because it keeps us fresh and young. “You’ve come a long way, baby”.

  11. 6-12
    6:39
    pm

    Sal – I just loved your post! One of the hardest things I’ve had to accept is just being good enough! I’m so glad that you are enjoying yourself!

    Beth – One Old (and I do mean old) Goat

  12. 6-12
    7:29
    pm

    Awesome article. Thanks for being willing to share your trials and tribulations, as well as your triumphs with us! Keep hanging in there, and you’ll be able to do whatever you want. ūüôā

  13. 6-12
    7:39
    pm

    Loved, loved, loved this post!

  14. 6-12
    9:52
    pm

    What a great perspective – and I can relate to so many of those. Thanks for sharing!

  15. 6-14
    3:14
    pm

    Love this post, who would of thought that I would be doing so much when some of my sisters have slowed down? Not me, I’m going to do as much I want for as long as I can!

  16. 6-14
    3:35
    pm

    Love your attitude Jeannie!

  17. 6-14
    4:11
    pm

    Group hug! It’s so great to hear from so many who have a ‘just do it’ attitude. They say time is only a measurement of movenment. In that case we older women got here by ‘doing’ and not staying still when we could be learning/doing/improving, or just enjoying. Good luck to us all. Sal

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