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The photo is my son and myself. Now days you can get a photo made to look old like this one. This photo was taken when this was the new look.

Harry S Truman was president when I was born and world war II had ended. I grew up in a time when lunch was put in a brown paper bag and a sandwich was wrapped with wax paper. There was no such thing as pantyhose, we wore stockings that attached to the rubbery clippy things that attached to the girdle. Convenience stores were not common and when we took a trip we packed a picnic basket because many places did not have fast food. Highways had places to pull over and stop, some with picnic tables. Read more ....

But That Was Home

February 12, 2018

Some people that visit my blog reminisce about the old days, some say it is like visiting a neighbor or a grandmother long ago. Some talk about the memories it has brought up. Then there are the younger ones that feel like they were born in the wrong generation or the young ones that don't feel comfortable with the way the world is and want something more but are too young to have memories of long ago as we older folks have.

Some feel homesick and just like how I felt before I figured out what was bothering me.

Many of us have memories of home, wherever that might have been. Some have good memories and some not so good but what I want to talk about is how to fill that void and find that place we call home.

Whether we have good memories or wish we had good memories of a simple old fashioned past I want you to know that if that is what you want then you can right this very moment start making a home with good memories.

We have the power to change our circumstances. We can either stay on the road that is burdened with debt, stuffed closets, drawers, plastic containers shoved in cabinets, paperwork that is a mess, garbage cans filled to the brim with Styrofoam or plastic take out trays or boxes and cups and a bank account that is drained each week or month from living an unorganized modern life.

We can stay on that road that keeps us away from our pit stop house, that place where we bathe and sleep and watch television or we can turn around and go back and learn to cook and sew, crochet and knit, embroidery our own curtains and dish cloths, table scarves and clothing. We can turn a house into a home that makes us crave wanting to go back there after being away only for a short while.

We can change that if we want to this very moment. Draw an imaginary line in front of you and step over it and then go to work making change.

The biggest help in living more like the past is getting rid of the things that make a lot of noise in the home so you can replace it with reading and laughter. Make it a place that you can actually hear the wind blowing outside of the home and crickets and birds. It means getting rid of things that have no real purpose and rid of clutter until we “fit into our space”. Let me be honest, I am still doing this fitting into our space but we are far much better than we were.

Some of us have images of a home that is perfectly in order most likely brought on by magazines and unrealistic photos. A real home gets messy because we live there, we cook and eat our meals and have dishes in our sink, we stash things in between seasons. A home that is lived in has books and fabric, shoes and papers not always put in their place. Our floors get dirty and our sheets have to be changed. In real life pets smell, people smell, sometimes the air smells but that is real life and sometimes we live so out of touch we do not know what real is anymore. Part of life is taking responsibility to clean up our messes over and over.

I have done a lot of things that I never thought I could do. I ripped out our carpeting and painted the floors when we could not afford new carpet. I made curtains out of extra sheets instead of using a credit card and found out that I can hand wash our laundry just because I want to. I was not born with this in me I learned, I figured out how to do it.  It is a patience thing and when we finally slow ourselves down we can figure this out.

It did not take Charles and I long to realize we needed to go back to the old days and further back than we could remember because even the 1950s was too modern and wasteful. The late 1940s were as well depending on where one lived.

When we live like the past we don't worry about what the new fad is, we don't even know what the new fad is anymore.  We don't try to impress anyone because we are busy living a simple life that goes day by day and there is always something to do. It is hard work to do things the old fashioned way but it is good because everything in our body and mind tells us we are doing the right thing.

Thrift stores, antique stores, grocery stores and the lumber/hardware store is really the only place we need to go if we need something. We have no interest in modern things and the quality is so good with the old things they hardly ever wear out.

My biggest regret is not changing sooner.

Living like the past is not like living in the past, we cannot live in the past. We are a blend of today and then. We have today's utility bills and prices, we have today's modern world just outside our door but we have the comfort of the simple life and the excitement of knowing we have a better ability to control that utility bill and what is in our bank account and what goes on inside our home.

In today's overwhelming, stressful, hectic mess we have a place to get away from all of that. We don't live a fairy tale, we have 4 seasons, dirty windows, rugs that need cleaning, floors that need mopping, laundry that has many stages to go through to make it back into the closet or drawers. There are toilets, tubs and showers to be cleaned we have sickness and troubles and days we are tired but we have more now to make us want to take care of these issues than ever before because we are more independent than we were before and we are happier and enjoy being home.

There is spring and planting to be done and summer harvest and preserving that harvest. There is fall gardening and all year long projects to do such as making our homemade gifts and doing repairs ourselves. Remind you we live in a small house on a small lot and yet we do these things because we can. If I lived in an apartment I would still have a garden somewhere. We have a very good friend that grew tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, beans and onions on his balcony. He had a jungle of vegetables right out his door all summer long. It was amazing.

Going home is about family and going to a place of happiness. Many times there is no home to go to anymore, everyone has moved on or passed away. Maybe our home was destroyed in a storm or fire but that does not mean we just fret over not being able to go home. We pick up and make our home that place right where we are and we do in such a way that we want it to be. We are all different and that makes life exciting.

Many years ago I had a neighbor from Italy and her children would come to our house to play. She had a beautiful accent and her house smelled of wonderful Italian spices and bread. We were as different as night and day but we lived in a time when our children most always sat down to a homemade meal at home and had to be in bed at a certain time and we all had certain rules. There were no cell phones and social media back then. Her house was decorated completely different than mine.

Then my other neighbor Sally, she loved the color blue and her house was decorated with pretty wall paper and a blue sofa and she was the most organized grocery shopper I ever knew. She made casseroles often and knew how to stretch food and save a penny. Her children knew when to leave playing at our house and be home, washed up and at the dinner table by 5:00 sharp. We were the house where children liked to come to play and I did not have to remind any of them when it was time for them to go home. Often I would be asked what time it was. There was something unseen back then where the children knew what was expected of them. 

We knew what was expected of us as their mother. We did not know at the time that we were making memories of a home that would be desired to go back to. We did not know that we were setting examples for our children, we were just doing what felt right at the time. 

We have moved a few times since then but that was home and this is home and where we are today still is home because home is what we make it and if you are not feeling it then change what you are doing, step over that line and make it home. 

 Grandma Donna

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