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Gravel Soup

Filed under: General — Downunder @ 7:56 am Wed 14th January 2015

It’s an expression I’d not heard before and I went looking for an explanation on the net and came across this.

The concept of gravel soup is a soup from left over’s – a bit of anything and everything – that can be added to if not consumed in one day.

A bit of a rough brew.

This guy has drawn an analogy between gravel soup and his father. I can relate to this in my father, but I’m wondering if it is something, as a consequence of metropolitan life, we are less inclined to see in men.

Have men become both less sophisticated and more sophisticated as the environment has changed around them?

I have copied the piece from the link above:

Like the title says, I am fortunate. I’m very fortunate to be the son of a man who largely worked with his hands for the majority of his life”¦.oh he’s still with us, please don’t assume he’s passed on”¦he has since moved into a more “office-centered” occupation though.

The reason I mention my father’s experiences with manual labor over the years is because it afforded me the opportunity throughout my formative years (listen to me, I sound like real snob now don’t I?) to see his knowledge of a seemingly endless list of industries and practices and crafts in action. This had a huge effect on me – I got to see his gravel soup.

Alright, let me explain what I mean by gravel soup. One of the experiences I remember specifically where Dad displayed his PhD in “Jackofalltradesology” was when he and my mother were building their current home. I remember that the guys pouring the concrete for the foundation of the house rolled up and as they were pouring, my dad checked the “slump” of the concrete mixture and it was beyond the typical working spec for residential building. Yes, you’re probably asking the same thing”¦who does that?! Exactly. For those of you asking what in the hades the slump of concrete is, it basically is the stiffness and workability of the mixture. This particular mixture was not acceptable and the trucks were stopped until everyone involved could be straightened out. Ah, my dad”¦he may not know everything but there ain’t much he doesn’t know.

That experience stuck with me. You see, concrete is a relatively simple mixture that’s been around in various forms, literally for ages and is composed of a few typical basic elements: aggregate (gravel), water, and some chemical additives. It’s so simple, yet since ancient Egypt civilizations have literally been built with it.

So why all the concrete love you ask? Well, this is where the basis for gravel soup comes from. I mentioned earlier in this rambling that I got to see my father’s gravel soup often. I hope you caught that or this is going to be a loooong blogging experience (only kidding, I’m sure you’re all way ahead of me by now). What I meant by my father’s gravel soup is the same that I mean about anybody’s gravel soup: it’s a simmering pot of life experiences, good, bad and yes, ugly all mixed with a heavy portion of temperance and sprinkled with the ever-growing, delicate thing called wisdom. We all have a pot of soup cooking. We’ve all been adding aggregate (gravel) since we started on this crazy journey called life, and the mix of water gets added as we go along as well. That chemical additive that activates the bonding of the components (wisdom), may not be as plentiful as the other two ingredients, but it is very powerful, and as we realize it’s in our pot, our mixture, our soup, our concrete slump will stiffen. The word “concrete” comes from the Latin “concresco” which means “grow together”.

This is how we build the foundations for our lives. A solid foundation equals a solid building and eventually and solid civilization – hence my father stopping the trucks. We each have our own batch of soup to cook up. Everyone’s recipe will be a little different, just like each building, city, street, sidewalk, and ultimately civilization is different in their own ways.

So, now you know why I’m so fortunate; and now you know “why gravel soup”.

This world is all about utilizing your soup adequately, and pulling back the lid on the soup and adding to it if you need to”¦

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