Comments On Article: The Diary Of Sarah March 27 - April 9, 1932
People certainly did discuss current events. Newspapers and radio were primary sources of current information. There were protests over federal government farm policies in Iowa.
Generally, the ladies would have left politics to the men and would discuss families, community activities, share recipes and household hints, discuss coming social events type of conversations. The women would discuss politics with their spouse but often not otherwise.
The newspaper items mentioned being gathered in the diary would have been who had a new baby, who was ill, who visited who and reports of club meetings. Gossipy stuff, but generally not unkind gossip, just newsy gossip. Larger towns had daily newspapers and small towns a weekly paper which is probably what the diarist was contributing to.
Even during the Depression people went to the movies. Before the feature there would be a newsreel with items of national and international interest. There were also weekly magazines such as Saturday Evening Post that provided pictorial news stories. Monthly lady's magazines were also popular. Magazines were shared neighbor to neighbor. In the Midwest "homemaker" radio broadcasts were extremely popular. They were broadcast during the day and many if not most women would take time to listen. The homemaker broadcasts also had monthly newsletters with information and recipes.
My goodness, Sarah's diary always wears me out just reading it! "Baked a few pies, and bread and kuche," she casually says while describing just a small part of her day. When she mentions "sleepy" at the end of the day or "dull and tired" I can well believe it! I often think many of us don't really understand how *hard* people worked physically on farms. I remember seeing a study done on old-order Amish to see how "traditional life" really compared activity-wise to us moderns. The participants were given pedometers to wear during the day. As I recall, the women averaged 15,000 steps and day and the men 18,000.
I've been puzzling over what "handholds for the comforter" might be? Also why do you suppose she is doing all that extra washing for several people (her children's families I guess). Maybe she was the only one who had a washing machine? You would think they would be doing this for themselves. And why is she going up to Joseph's place to take care of his children and make their breakfast while he helps with the cows--------wouldn't Joseph's wife be doing that?
Sarah is just not talky enough for someone with a lot of curiosity. Guess she didn't have enough time for long dissertations with all the other things that she did. I am surprised at how many pies she seems to make on a regular basis. They must have had desserts at just about every meal!
Well, I do know that my husband's grandfather most often had pie for breakfast, I don't know whether that was in addition to regular breakfast fare like a dessert or if it took the place of breakfast.
Oh my word, what a hard worker Sarah was. I noticed she did most of her baking, bread etc on Saturday, so Sunday could be devoted to Church and people coming over. Their was a lot of mopping the floor too ! I can picture a contented woman and a clean home with good aromas wafting out of the windows. I imagine their would always be a cup of tea and a slice of pie available, should you just happen to stop by. One couldn't help but comment on the sparkle coming off that linoleum too :) - such a joy to read. Thanks Grandma Donna for taking the time to decipher Sarah's writing. I bet she'd be tickled to know we are reading her diary and gleaning ideas and inspiration from it ~ Blessings to you and Charles - Linda.
I too want to know what the hand hold is!
I wonder if it is something like this https://knotte.com/pages/nordic-design-duvet-cover-hand-pockets ? But most vintage comforters that I have seen have the cover, batting, and backing all tied together so wouldn't require stuffing into a cover. I would imagine, however, that there were cultural differences....
Sara I bet you are right it's something like the description in that link. I, like you, think of the parts of comforters to be all sewn together, kind of similar to a quilt but thicker and filled with feathers rather than batting. I think of duvets to be something more modern but maybe they aren't? Maybe Sarah is Finnish and that's the way her Mama did things.
It said that her daughter in law, Sherley, was in Kentucky at her sister's funeral. I took it as she went to feed the family while he was doing the farm chores since his wife was gone. And I got the impression she usually milked the cows so he was doing that for her.
I'd love to know what time she gets up to do her " usual morning chores"
Hello GD et al
I am also ‘sleepy’ even thinking about the work Sarah accomplishes daily! I hope her family thanked her often for the way in which she kept the household running: everyone fed and clothed, warm and comfortable and healthy. Hmmm.
I think all those pies were shared quite probably - amongst family and neighbours and church people.
Here in the south of New Zealand we also are concerned about current affairs and we also are experiencing high food prices ( even our regular weekly grocery shop can easily get to $NZ300 now) There is also a great problem with affordable housing for many people especially young people and people in larger cities. It’s Autumn and wintry weather is starting. Many people are worried about the cost of keeping warm. Making comforters might be helpful but not likely as people don’t sew any more or know how to. I don’t think people would value a comforter either now. A store bought synthetic blanket is more prized sadly.
I am grateful to have a warm house: we have a large wood burner and my husband is wonderful at maintaining a fabulous dry wood stack. He is a big fan of Lars Mitting’s book ‘ Norwegian Wood’ which is a great read. I am also grateful that our chest freezer is almost filled now with green beans and butter beans from our summer vege garden as well as celery ready for soup, and some leafy greens although they don’t freeze so well. I have free flow frozen Satsuma plums from our tree and rhubarb in there too. We have had lots of apples so there are many bags of cooked frozen apple pulp too - ready for crumbles and pies.
We will eat less meat from here on as it is so expensive. We don’t keep chickens yet but I think we may need to as the price of eggs here is close to $1 an egg now.
We don’t allow caged hens any more in NZ for commercial poultry farms which is very good but egg farmers have hiked the prices of course although everything is more difficult since the world ‘closed down’ in 2020.
I am thinking of you GD and sending love and positive good healing thoughts to you as you recover from your pacemaker replacement procedure. I hope you are able to rest as much as you need and that Charles and your family help as much as possible. Very kind wishes to you.
I'm with the others in my curiosity about "hand holds." Very interesting.
I like the weekly postings of the diary as it's easier to find time to read a week than it is to read a month so glad it works for you as well.
Blessings to you both~
How about a hand made version of these?
Keeping the corners in place? Cannot envisage how you would make some but perhaps two intertwining loops or loops domed together?
I'm also curious on the hand holds. Never heard of them before. It must have been fun making the 81 popcorn balls. It's a shame people don't visit as much anymore in person. Her house sounds like it'd be fun to be at.
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