Continuance re ‘Takers’ & “Leavers’ earlier:
How can civilization be defined? I haven’t checked the etymology, but I suppose most would say, “It exists when people living in some sort of proximity to each other are ‘civil’ to each other’. Call it ‘Your freedom to do as you like without hindrance stops short of my nose.’
But doesn’t that call for some sort of specifics? Think of the claim that Syrian possessors of chemical weapons just leave a canister cover off for a few seconds, with no ‘enemy’ noses within reach. Not civil, agreed?
Try this (just my personal definition): Some years ago, I lived because I ate, and to do that I killed and grew my food. Yup, we killed the pig when November rolled around and the pork didn’t spoil because the air was freezing most of the time. Even the hogshead (not the barrel, the head of the hog) was on a platter in the middle of the kitchen table, covered with a dish towel while nobody reached over with a knife to carve off some bit to chew on. After all, ‘closest to the bone’ is what’s the most tender and tasty’, right? And try to ignore the (unlidded, of course) eye seeing the whole event!
And the rest of the pig/hog, as occasion allowed/demanded, was served up in its various forms.
Same with a cow past bearing calves and thus past giving milk to us. (More in a minute about ‘milk’.)
And when I got my first .22 we had venison, nice lean two-inch cubes with gravy out of the big black spider along with its gravy on the mashed potatoes!
That brings up ‘grow’–enough of ‘kill’, I suppose.
We saved enough each winter in the cedar-post walled cellar potato bin, filled each early fall through the ‘coal chute’ kind of door on the southside of the house foundation, to slice up the remainder come spring with at least one ‘eye’ showing, put each sliver in a shallow hole in a different acre each year (we had half of the eighty acres cleared and not needed for hay)in more or less rows straight enough and spaced far enough apart, hoed out the ready weeds, hilled the growing plants for housing the swelling tubers coming underneath, uncovered and gathered the taters and back for another winter they went to the cellar bin. Ditto for corn, both ‘field’ for the cows and ‘sweet’ for us.
Along with the milk which we peddled around town, some of the taters went to Rosberg’s Mercantile to help cover the store bill for things we didn’t/couldn’t grow like coffee, sugar, baking soda and powder, etc.
How was that being civil? We produced our own food, didn’t rob anyone else’s field. Fancy name: Barter goods.
But wait–what about that store bill!?
Yes, we lived by means of money, just as do people today. We sold milk and cream we didn’t drink/eat, used potatoes on the store bill. paid the farm tax w/money.
Thing is, how few people (US of A) live that way today? Crowded off farms into cities, how civil we are is exemplified by shooting not deer but kids in school, or blowing their feet off on a crowded street.
Again, who’s to blame? Seems inevitable now to drop ‘grow’ from a definition of ‘civilization’?
Keep a different kind of the other term?


About aslak122

writing novels, 7 so far; golf (again, with a titanium left shoulder) Jean, still really lovely a wife, cooks our(mostly my) noon meal, we forage separately for breakfast and evening snack. I rotate from cereal with extra raisins, banana slices, honey to 2 soft-boiled eggs (70 seconds boil over low gas) and a bagel (whole wheat). Oh, and with the cold cereal a precursor of yogurt--cherry or blueberry., and a cup or two of green tea, Lipton's if you please! And several ounces of red wine with the noon meal, opening with one of Jean's absolutely best salads. Takes a while to tell about good food, right?
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