• Last modified 873 days ago (Jan. 7, 2021)


Another Day in the Country

What ever happened to that?

© Another Day in the Country

We pulled into one of our favorite fast-food spots, “Two tostados please…” Jess said to the voice taking our order.

“I’m sorry, Ma’am,” came the reply. “But we don’t make tostados anymore.”

“What?” my sister cried. “We love them. What happened?”

“Corporate just decided,” answered the voice. “We don’t know why. We’re sorry. Lots of people are unhappy.”

“Yes,” my sister mutters. “Someone at corporate decides triple-deck, fire-spiced, deep fried, something or other is what we need to stay healthy?”

Jess was so unhappy that she was about to drive off. 

“Wait,” I yelled. “We can get a bean burrito, plus lettuce and tomato! And some nachos with cheese,” I said hopefully.

Reluctantly, my sister applied the brake, and repeated my order. No tostado? Then she wasn’t eating, such was the depth of her disappointment. Me? I go to plan B.

One of the downsides of living for a long time — over 70 years — is that you lose lots of familiar and much loved things along the way. Losing friends, of course, and family members, is the worst part. But then you also lose what may seem to be trivial things and in order to stay healthy (and current) you have to let them go and grieve the loss. Try something new.

We’ve been eating tostados since the day that restaurant opened its doors. Being vegetarian, a tostado was an easy ask because it wasn’t made with meat.

Other places with other favorites, like Egg McMuffins, you have to ask them to remove the bacon.

We used to also have Al’s Cafe in Lost Springs to get tostados. We’re still grieving the loss! We miss it every Friday on the way home from teaching art at Centre school district. It was where we always had Friday lunch.

Let someone else do the cooking after trying to get digitized kids to move a real pencil.

And so, I list my losses:

There’s a particular kind of licorice that the American Licorice Company no longer makes — licorice cigars. Penny candy originally. I’d buy them by the box, and then somewhere in the 1960s they disappeared completely. The Australians make good licorice but it isn’t the same.

Black Jack gum disappeared and then made a comeback, along with Clove gum. It’s the familiar taste, the well known smell that one hungers to experience again.

KitchenAid used to make a little two cup “whizzer” that remains about the most used piece of equipment in my kitchen other than my Cutco knives. It’s in constant use and the other day I began to worry that it would stop working.

“Maybe I should buy a spare?” I said to myself and went looking online.

Would you believe they don’t make that model any longer? They make cup sized onion choppers and 1 quart units galore but none like the one I have. Bummer!

I’m afraid they are going to do the same to the pot that heats water over and over during the day to keep up with my need for a warm cup to hold. Not wanting to be without, I bought an extra one to stash in the pantry.

My simple, inexpensive rice cooker is another utensil that is much used! I probably should get a spare one of those, too.

In this new and faster world we inhabit, the creators of these things from utensils to applications are constantly thinking, “How can we upgrade this?”

I want them to leave them alone! I’ve just figured out how to use my iPhone and suddenly, in the dark of night while I am sleeping, the upgrade fairy comes along and changes everything.

“Stop upgrading!” I want to say. “Leave it be. I like it the way it is!”

“Remember those over-the-hump trash containers they used to have for cars,” Jess is remembering other, dearly beloved things that are no longer. “Whatever happened to those? I’d love to have one. They were so handy!”

“It’s probably because we now have cup holders in that space?” I suggested.

“And have you noticed how the articles in magazines have changed?” Jess asks. “Their essays used to be so good! Now they do blurbs. I don’t like it.” 

I nod in sympathy.

“People have lost their attention span!” I say, commiserating on all the little losses we suffer to newer, faster, innovation, hungered for by newer generations than those of us who’ve spent more days in the country.

Last modified Jan. 7, 2021