The Good Old Days?

A friend recently posted on Facebook about patterned feed/flour sacks that were used for making clothing in the 1930’s and 40’s. That brought back lots of memories for me since I wore dresses made from feed sacks.

Back in the “good old days,” the common people – my people - washed and saved feed sacks and traded patterns to get enough material for whatever they were wanting to make. Feed sacks came in many prints - stripes, geometrics, florals and novelty prints. They also came in solid colors and border prints.

My dad was a minister and many of the printed sacks we used came from members of his congregation. Those who raised livestock had the most to share, but it still took a long time to get enough fabric for a dress. Feed sack fashions way back when were not a fad, but rather a necessity.

While watching the Prime Minister of Japan during his visit to Hawaii a few days ago, I was reminded of how difficult that attack made our lives because of the rationing of goods - flour, wheat, sugar, dry goods, lard, rayon, nylon, leather, gasoline, tires for cars - to name a few. Each family was allotted tokens and stamps by the government. Without these, many things could not be purchased. Growing a garden and preserving produce was a necessity for survival, and neighbors took care of each other by sharing their crops.

I'm very grateful for parents who were willing to work hard so we had the things we needed. My mom could turn an old, worn adult-size coat inside out, cut her own pattern, and make a nice looking coat to keep a child warm during the winter, and we shared outgrown clothing with our friends. Children could identify their next outfits by observing their primary donors. We walked most places. Gasoline was saved for necessary trips.

I will never forget the day I lost a token while on an errand to the little grocery store down the street. We simply did without the item that token would have allowed us to purchase.

I have many memories of this era. Doing without, the frightening air raid sirens and blackouts, and watching a friend sob after military representatives arrived at their door to inform them that her big brother would not be coming home comprise just a few of these memories.

I have great memories of my childhood and our caring parents. The war is a gray blotch on those memories.

~ Pictures from Pinterest


And Then There Came Great-Grandchildren

Love all of the Facebook posts about our great-grandchildren during the Christmas season. I think the following post by our son-in-law, Michael, might be my favorite this year.

"Here are the grandkids watching a movie. This is just a guess, but I think it's a Chick Flick."


The World Is Mine

Frequently, in my mind, I hear my Dad quoting one of the poems he committed to memory – and there were dozens. Sometimes the poems were used in jest, but at other times Dad was making a point.

I’m not sure why, but while I was shopping this week Dad’s voice recited a poem in my mind. It is a poem originally published as being written by an unknown author, but in recent years several people have come up with edited versions and claimed authorship. The most recent version I found replaced the word, “gay” (commonly known in the past to mean lighthearted and carefree) with the word, “happy.” Really?

The poem as quoted by my Dad is printed here. These verses communicate a good lesson during this season of the year when I too often focus on “stuff.”

The World Is Mine

Today upon a bus, I saw a lovely maid with golden hair.
     I envied her, she seemed so gay,
And I wished I were as fair.
     When suddenly she rose to leave,
I saw her hobble down the aisle;
     She had one foot, and used a crutch,
But as she passed, she had a smile.
     Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I have two feet, the world is mine.

And when I stopped to buy some sweets,
     The lad who sold them had such charm.
I talked to him, he said to me,
     “It’s nice to talk to men like you.
You see,” he said, “I’m blind.”
     Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I have two eyes, the world is mine.

Then, as I passed along the way,
     I saw a child with eyes of blue.
He stood and watched the others play;
     It seemed he knew not what to do.
I stopped for a moment and then I said,
     “Why don’t you join the others, dear?”
He looked ahead without a word,
     And then I knew he could not hear.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
     I have two ears. The world is mine.

With feet to take me where I’d go,
     With eyes to see the sunsets glow,
With ears to hear what I would know,
     I’m blessed indeed.
The world is mine.
     Oh, God, forgive me if I whine.

~Author Unknown

Christmas Sharing

This beautiful scene was designed using stained glass in cement by grandson, Jacob Walker, when he was quite young. I display it every Christmas. Despite having a lot of artistic talent as a child, he chose instead to teach math (his first love) to high school students.