Brenda’s Blog – December 16, 2014
“You take a shaker and sprinkle salt on the rabbit’s tail… that is the way you catch them.”
First came the incredulous expression, then the laughter as we listened to our friend’s story of her childhood. “Mom would send us to the top of a steep hill where the rabbits lived, dragging a large box which took two of us to carry. Then she gave us salt shakers.”
“Did you ever catch a rabbit?” “No, but this is what we did year after year.”
Apparently, the salt had some magical quality and slowed the rabbit down enough for them to capture the four legged hopper in the box.
Funny, eh? But then I started thinking about traditions which continue through families, churches, and businesses. “That’s the way we have always done it” never goes away, does it? A committee recommends changing the color of the church carpeting and some would think a divine edict had crashed into pieces on the somehow sacrosanct floor.
“Sacred Cows Make the Best Hamburger” is the somewhat irreverent title of a book which challenges us to look status quo in the face. Do we accept things as they are just because they are? Do we go rabbit hunting with salt shakers because we always have?
Tradition is important. In fact, I think we are trashing too much of our national history, but we must constantly search for the context. Was there a reason for the activity? Is this still valid? Would another practice be more appropriate and effective?
Remember the old story about the holiday ham? Susie asks her mother Nancy why they cut off the ends of the meat before putting it in the pan. “That is the way you do it,” responded Nancy. Now curious, Nancy asks her Mom, Mary who answers with the same reasoning. Grandmother Marie is then asked why the family bakes a ham this way.” My pan was too short, so I had to cut it to fit.”
We all have our salt shakers. We all follow patterns without question. Some of them give us warm memories of childhood memories. Some of them just become habitual and need shaking up.
The next time you see a floppy eared, cotton-tailed critter hopping through your yard, grab your Morton’s and go for it!