Back in the Day

Somebody put a post on Facebook a few days ago, reminiscing about the way it used to be; how we would fix things when they broke, instead of just throwing them out and getting a new one. It struck a nerve with me, and I thought how sad it is this is true not only with things but with love. Back in the day, “Until death do us part” meant something.

Back in the Day

In the old days

When things were broken

You didn’t throw them away

You fixed them


Your sock had a hole in it

You darned it

Darned if I know why

They called it darning


When a sock got too thin

Or the holes were too big

You used it as a rag

To polish the old furniture


I remember grandpa and grandma

It seemed like they fought a lot

Sometimes nothing more than

Grandma’s steely stare


Grandpa bent over the sink

Washing his hands

Seeing her anger over his shoulder

Reflecting in the kitchen window


Next thing you know, they’re in their chairs

Side by side, talking about the day

Making up, but not saying so

Just loving each other quietly… easily


Back in the day

Things and love got holes in them

You darned them, patched them

Glued them back together

Throwing them away… never crossed your mind

Copyright © 2013 C Mashburn


  1. Raivenne said

    Ah yeah, those unspoken arguments, and make-ups! I do remember those. Modern love has become this convoluted contract with more escape clauses than anything else. So few seem to want to stick it out, long enough to work it out.

    • Throw -away marriages, if, that is, they even get married.
      Thanks for the visit and comment, Raivenne. Always appreciate you!

  2. Sherry Mashburn said

    simpler times . . . better times. Sad commentary on today.

  3. Susan said

    Then Walmart made socks, a dollar a pair…and lawyers joined in on the throw away fair.
    Time real simply, is money… disposable wares, if anyone cares, no wonder? The divorce rate ain’t funny.
    Thumbs up Charles.

    • Just bought a ten-pack for $8.99 at Walmart yesterday. I learned the time-is-money thing in commercial construction; cheaper to throw an old 2×4 away than it is to pull the nails out of it and use it again. When I was first starting out in the business, I’d pick up nails when I dropped them. The boss yelled at me, “Quit wasting time! Nails are cheaper than your wages!”
      The divorce rate… I got no room to talk, but I promise you this: It won’t happen again.
      Thanks, Susan! I appreciate you!

  4. I love your piece. Absolutely hit the nail right on the head. Till death do us part sounds like an ancient statement. These days I find that love in a relationship is as valuable as commodity. Just as we keep buying new stuff and excited about new products; Whenever it becomes a little rough, people just chuck it out and move on to the next person. How sad is that?

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. it is a whole different world…and you make us see that….used to be things we worth fixing…like love…and now its better to just throw it away it seems….lot of truth in this one man…

  6. ayala said

    So true..everything is disposable now …even people. A different world. Well said!

    • Yes’m. Don’t like it or them, toss ’em to the curb.
      Thanks for the visit and comment, Ayala!

  7. So true my friend, and I can not say I have faught the fight of disposable, convience and buy again life., but when it comes to marriage, children and elderly…THESE ARE NOT DISPOSABLES!! thank you for reminding us .:)

    • I hear you, Len! We need to get back to the basics, especially where love is concerned.
      Thanks for the comment!

  8. zongrik said

    so cool to have had their example of how to be in love, and how to have a loving relationship

    not alone

    • Yes, it was cool. I was able to view some very good examples in my time. If I had followed those good examples, I might have saved myself some grief.
      Thanks for the visit and comment!

  9. Mary said

    Ha, you are right about socks. No one darns any more. Nor uses old socks for rags. And relationships too….they stood the test of time…like socks!

  10. so true… knew a rich lady who saved the foil from the soft dog food can… amazing what a depression can do for one

    • I remember re-using foil. Still do it once in a while, but not too often. We’ve gotten lazy.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  11. When my husband and I got married we were able to tell the minister during our pre-wedding counseling that both of our sets of parents were still married to each other. My parents are both gone now, but his are still married over 60 years. And we’ll celebrate our 27th this year! Peace, Linda

    • Outstanding, Linda! I love to hear stories like yours!
      Thanks for the visit and comment!

  12. Oh a wonderful poem… things lasted once…now you can’t even begin to fix anything… Loved this! 🙂

  13. rmp said

    so true! I still turn socks into dust rags…at least when I decide to dust that is. definitely a lovely sentiment. I enjoyed your use of the word darned.

    • I kind of enjoyed that little playful romp with the word darned, too!
      Thanks for the visit and comment!

  14. Myrna said

    I guess my husband and I, though hopefully not from your grandparent’s generation, had that attitude. Forty four years. There’ve been many holes. We mend them. I suppose we’ll mend, ’til death do us part.

    Love your poem.

    • A wonderful thing you and your husband have going. I applaud you both!
      Thanks for the visit and comment!

  15. Nice story with much wisdom! Husband & I married 31 years now, and no, we don’t always agree, but we “understand” each other, we forgive each other, and know that life would not be the same without each other. No “throw aways” here! BTW, I still use worn out socks to dust with too!

    • Another wonderful success story! Thanks for sharing it, Ginny! And thanks for stopping by

  16. jelillie said

    Thanks Charles. I loved this and so agree. I meant my vows.

    • I’m glad you like it, and I’m glad you meant your vows!
      Thanks for the read and comment!

  17. Charles, that is so wonderful! Your words brought back so many wonderful memories…I could see my Grandmother and Papa so clearly! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Thank you for the wonderful comment. I love it when I can bring back good memories!

  18. Rod E. Kok said

    Very well said, sir. A wonderful write that makes me remember when my bride of 16 years and I patch up our problems, it’s what we promised to do.

    • Thank you, Rod! And thanks for the good report on patching things up with your wife. That is wonderful!

  19. Laurie Kolp said

    So true… love the comparison of old socks and marriage.

  20. Ha. I think people have unrealistic expectations of others and of relationships now, and even of external circumstances. They do not understand the truth of Murphy’s Law! And that they cannot feel singled out by it! Oh well. Thanks. Very charming!

    I, for one, have boxes and boxes of old socks! k.

    • Boxes and boxes of socks? Oh my! Sorry, I couldn’t resist!
      I think you may have hit the nail on the head with one word: expectations. Realistic or unrealistic, they can destroy a relationship. Loving a person for who they are–flaws and all–that’s the trick.
      Thanks for the thought-filled comment, k!

  21. That actually sounds bad – the boxes of old socks – what I meant is that I have a ton of them. I do tend to buy new also, but don’t throw out the old. I am a big lover of socks. k.

  22. Those were the days…fixing, darning and patching up ~ I agree with you on not even thinking of throwing it away, we make the best of the situation ~

    • Yes, those were the days. Long gone, I reckon. Thanks for stopping by. Always a pleasure!

  23. Tony said

    Of course, back in the day many things were a ot easier to fix. Cars are sooooo complex now – while socks are too thin to darn 🙂 Marriages, on the other hand – well those just have to be worked at, but the rewards are usually well worth the effort for those who try.

    • All true, Tony. I used to be able to fix almost anything on a car; nowadays, I can’t do much of anything!
      As for marriage, I was terrible at it back in the day, but I’m much better at it today, and I am thankful for the reversal!
      Thanks for the visit and comment!

  24. rebelle said

    captured a time gone by nicely…

  25. claudia said

    i remember my grandma darning socks…a lot of work..and heck yeah…life is so faced paced and with so many throw-away articles…and not only talking about goods..

  26. kelly said

    So true, there is much to miss about days gone by, it is sad the things we throw away so easily these days.

  27. Kim Nelson said

    In the case of socks and such, rag bag and buy new is now the practical choice. However, when it comes to relationships, unless abuse is somehow involved it takes less work to fix an existing one than nurture another.

  28. Reblogged this on Marbles In My Pocket ~ The Official Blog of Charles L. Mashburn ~ Poems, Short Stories, and random thoughts from the author of "Be Still… and know that I am God" and commented:

    Came across this one today, and still kinda like it. I reckon some of you folks probably will too

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