Recently I did a post about sending in letters of your memories of your family long ago. First I would like to say this photo above is of my family from the past. This was a family gathering on a hot summer day in Mississippi long ago. Standing in the back row are several of my Great Aunts and Uncle when they were young. The fourth from the left top row was one of my Great Aunts that I miss dearly, my Aunt Nina. She and Uncle Less Owned a small country store near a bridge. The roads back then were dirt and seemed to be forever long roads. But those dirt roads made memories. I loved going to the store and the sound of the creaky wood floors and the creaky screen door as it opened with the Colonial is good bread sign across the middle of that screen door.
A wood burning stove stood in the middle of the store and a pipe went straight up through the ceiling. Shelves lined the walls with canned goods of all kinds and glass jars sat on the counter with penny candy. Uncle Less had a meat counter in the back and would cut meat for the customers. He would cut me a piece of bologna and tell me to get me a cracker out of the barrel. They also had soda pop after the electricity was run to the store. They lived in an attached small house off to the left side of the store.
I will never forget my Aunts and Uncles from those days gone by.
One more photo from this family gathering. My Grandmother stands here the third from the left. My great Grand next to her and my other great Grand fifth from the left wearing a light sweater. These are cherished photos that I have and so thankful that I do have them. The Man with the apron and lady next to him are my Aunt and Uncle.
Some memories from the past are not as cherished such as the heat, the flies and gnats and mosquito's which we still have today but now have modern homes with cooling and more control over the insects that are still out there.
But even some of those things made good memories as we welcomed a unexpected cool breeze and slept under a simple cotton sheet of quality that we no longer have today. Beds were often placed close to the long wide wooden windows in the summer so the cool breezes that hopefully came through would make sleeping so much better. We ran after fireflies enjoyed the sounds that the crickets made as they were forecasting the weather. Often you would see people go out on their porch during a thundershower and sit in rocking chairs or a porch swing to watch and listen to the rain because there was no weather channel or electronics to check out the radar. It was simply something that was happening at that moment.
Here below, are two more letters from my blog visitors about their memories from the past.
I was very blessed growing up to know not only my grandmothers but my great grandmothers on both my parents sides as well as great great aunts and so I have seen first hand how carefully they lived on their small incomes but how graciously as well.
They sewed, they gardened, they canned. They raised flowers and kept their homes clean and lovely though they were poor houses overall. They had the principles of good stewardship and took care of what they owned. They saved, and they each had their small splurges where they spent money. For each woman it was something different. Perhaps a good perfume or hard back books, record albums of good music. They bought quality coats and shoes but these items were saved up for over time, as were appliances and cars.
Credit was used very judiciously and never as a means to live above their income but only as a means to help them over a rough spot and always repaid quickly and well ahead of due date. Not only did they make many of their own clothing pieces, each one used a craft as artistic expression. Embroidery and crochet, quilting, and even their flower gardening and flower arrangements showed their artistry. Tables were set properly for meals and one showed up to the table dressed properly.
I recall how upset my Granny was that we were allowed to come to breakfast table in our pajamas at home! When visiting at her house, we were up and dressed, hair combed and faces fresh washed before we sat down to table in the morning. I do not recall ever seeing these women in their nightgowns unless they were actually about to go to bed! I learned a great deal from each of these women in my growing years and I feel sure I am the woman and LADY, mother and homemaker and wife that I am today because of their examples.
I am only 33 years old but I have fond memories of visiting my grandparents as a child. Both were born during the Great Depression, married after WW II and had 3 boys, my dad being the eldest.
My grandfather had a stringent daily routine I had to follow during my summer visit but I loved it! Coffee and breakfast was at 7 am, then morning walk in nearby rice field with his Lab Cocoa at 8 AM. Shower when we returned then morning newspaper (and sometimes a nap too) for my grandfather.
Lunch was always at noon. My grandma cooked all the meals from scratch! I usually spent the afternoon with my grandma while my grandpa would go to his local Elks Lodge to use the sauna and buy a drink at the bar. Dinner was at 5 pm...sometimes 5:30 PM. Then TV time and to bed around 9 pm.
I enjoyed my visits with my grandparents so much! My grandma was very frugal and kept the pantry and fridge well stocked. We always had leftover night which was the night before the trash pickup. Whatever needed to be eat was served during dinner that night! My grandfather never cooked...he didn't even know how to operate a microwave! My grandma always had him "cook" one meal a week and that meant takeout for us!
My grandfather passed away in 2000 from cancer. I still miss him today. I did live with my grandma after graduating from college! She prepared all the meals and we still had leftover night. People asked me then if I took care of my grandma since I lived with her. I reply that she takes care of me and doesn't need any help!
She definitely is a force to be reckoned with. She pays all her bills on the first of the month and balances her checkbook at the same time. She keeps some wonderful houseplants in her kitchen garden window. My favorite is her Christmas cactus she has in her living room. I still visit with my grandma today and she just turned 86 years old. I have some great stories she tells me of her childhood that I will share with you at a later time! Please continue to write your posts. I check your website every day to see if you posted something new. I quite enjoy reading your posts and see the photos you share. Take care and have a wonderful day! Sincerely, Megan
Thank you Terry and Megan for your emails and sharing your memories from long ago.