Down the Backroads: The Resources We Have Around Us That We Never Seem To Use

Posted on Nov 7, 2019

The resources we have around us that we never seem to use

A good buddy of mine is an automotive technician and works on some of the newest and most technologically advanced vehicles on the road. During a recent conversation, I mentioned to him how surprised I am at the number of automobiles being manufactured these days without turn signals, to which he replied, “That’s not true, all of them come with turn signals.”

He was very amused at my statement, but I told him how puzzled I was to hear that because I seldom see anyone using their signals. How could you have something so necessary at your fingertips and not use it!

Obviously, I know that turn signals are standard on all vehicles. My point is, so many of us have this valuable resource available to us yet so many fail to use them.

In thinking about this, I realized there are many “resources” we have available to use either for safety purposes, learning opportunities, or simply for convenience sake, that we don’t take advantage of. 

For instance, our clothes washer has about a gazillion settings on it to match a gazillion clothes-washing situations, yet I only use the “normal” wash. Granted, my wife cringes when I try to use the washer so, for me, keeping it simple is better.

But these new modern machines offer so many advances yet many of us fail to ever use them for whatever the reason. By the way, my dryer is the same way.

And what about the microwave oven. I must admit, I feel successful if I can just heat up my coffee in the morning but there are so many settings on the newer models that I would imagine, most people never use.

Moving away from our household appliances, I am reminded of the time I had a plant problem at my house. I couldn’t seem to keep any of my outdoor plants living even though I was trying every fertilizer on the market.

My neighbor stopped by one day as I was digging up one more failed attempt. He suggested I call my local extension office and ask for help. Of course, how could I forget this valuable resource. One call and one visit to check my soil and magically the problem went away.

Another valuable service I often fail to think about is my nearby public library. I must admit, I don’t often take the time to read books, but I do love them. When I was a kid, my brother and I hardly missed a Saturday when we did not visit our local library.

I didn’t have to really check out anything, but just walking around and browsing through all the titles was enjoyable.  

Our library must have a book related to any subject you could ever imagine, yet I rarely take the time to stop by and utilize this valuable place.

Taking advantage of the resources around us seems like a no-brainer. But, I’m as guilty as anyone in overlooking them or failing to take the time to use them.

So, I have made a promise to myself to learn all the settings on my washing machine and microwave, and I promise to never try to figure out planting problems on my own again. And the next time I drive by the library, I will make an effort to stop and once again browse through the gazillion books in there.

Oh, and I also intend to always use my turn signals, as I travel down the backroads.