About gDonna
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 ....

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Living like 1943 first journal

July 15, 2015

We have been very busy since the first thought of doing the ww2 rationing.

Some have asked us why would we want to do this? Why not? If it teaches us something we did not know then that is very good. I have very good memories of 1950s but can only tell you what my mother said about the 1940s. Already, our electric usage has decreased, our grocery bill has decreased, our water bill has decreased and our gasoline usage has decreased. That is a good start and most of that was during practice.

This was my mothers house, it was built in the late 1800's.

My mother moved back home to Mississippi when my Grandparents were starting to have a physical decline. She bought this old house and our family had many good times and gatherings in this house.

The rooms inside were a good size, the kitchen has tall upper cabinets and the lower cabinets were old white wood, a porcelain sink.  A gas stove on one wall and a refrigerator on the other.  No dishwasher in this house.  Many old houses had a large porch. This house had two bathrooms with claw footed tubs. One of the toilets had a tall upper water chamber.  The closets were very small and there was a canning kitchen off a back porch area.

This is the house my brother and I were born. WW2 was over and many new things were happening. New houses being built, new appliances coming on to the market. Many homes still did not have television and telephones were party lines for many years to come.  Washing machines were mostly electric wringer washer, that is if you lived in a city. Dishwashers were not common but there were dishwashers. There are no trees in this picture because this was a new  subdivision.

Many houses had a way to cool the house by the way the house was built. Air conditioning did not come to our home until later. Our next house had an attic fan in the center of our house and when you lifted the windows several inches air would draw through the window and up and out of the attic fan.  At night if the bed was by the window a cool breeze would flow by.

Also many times the windows would lower from the top and raise from the bottom and by lowering the top the hot air could escape.  I wish the houses were built like this today.

My husband and I already live more like the past than most people but doing the one year 1940's is very interesting. Most people that were adults keeping house in the early 40's were born before the early 20's and many in the 1800's. The average middle of the income level in 1943 would most likely have lived in a very simple house. That does not mean small but simple. And simple would mean compared to what we know today. Adults keeping house in the 1940's would most likely be living in a house built many years before that time. So trying to keep it real for our one year journey our house would be somewhere before 1930. 

We are considering our area where we live which in the city. During that time many houses had high ceilings, and large rooms compared to the size our rooms are in our house.

If we were talking about living in the country and farming during the 1940's it would be completely different and you would have to look hard to find anyone with electricity or running water.

There were smaller houses built in the 1940's with lower ceilings and in my opinion the beginning of dependency on paying for cooling.

Since we have started our journey into 1943 the noise level in the house has been minimal with no television, no internet and very little radio. We turn on the radio to our National Public Radio Station to get news but not very often. We walk to the store to get a newspaper occasionally.

It took about two weeks for me to adjust to life without television as I routinely would turn on the television to watch certain shows and the news. I still find myself occasionally looking at the clock and thinking oh, the news is coming on but even that is going away.

Our two handicapped birds, a lovebird and a Cockatiel seem more settled and much more quiet. The noise from the electronics must have been bothering them.
Our three dogs are getting more attention from us in the evenings because we are not focused on either watching television or the internet.

My husband and I normally talk a lot to each other but I have noticed we are more visual while conversing because there are no distractions.

I feel more settled, creativity has come back and I don't feel the anxiety of hearing bad news all the time. I was a bit of a news junkie so this is quite a change.

We kept our weather radio so we can be informed about storms and it tells the weather when you mash the button so that is really all we need. If there is a true emergency situation we have the radio.

It was permissible to wear pants in the 1940's but dresses were most common.

The library research has been going well but it is very exhausting to try and learn so much in a short time.

Each day we do everything we can to keep it as real as possible to be in 1943. The time they lived and what they had in their houses were important parts to figuring out how the rationing affected them.

I get up very early to cook breakfast and pack a lunchbox for my husband. That is normal for me anyway. The laundry starts right away after breakfast because it must go out on the line as early as possible to dry in high humidity. There are days when it is raining and if it is raining several days in a row the wash still has to be done so lines are strung all over the house and the clothes are hung indoors.

We are having a difficult time trying to figure out what to purchase with our food points because many of our goods now come in different ounces than they had back in the 1940s. Jelly has become important to me because we eat very little sugar so some of the ration stamps are going for jelly and preserves. 

 I need to do some canning but our garden is too small this year and not producing much of anything now. Fruit and vegetables are very expensive at the produce stands. Canning is best when we have grown it ourselves. Garden peas are exceptionally high and truly unaffordable. We are going to try to get a fall victory garden going for winter and stock up on important canned goods with our blue ration points for winter. We will eat all summer and fall what is local grown then winter get into our dried goods and canned goods as they did in 1943.

My husband reads our electric and water meters almost every day and is keeping a record. He is also keeping a record of our weather.

We have both lost a bit of weight and that is also a good thing. We did not go into this rationing/history project thinking we would lose weight but it is happening because we are eating less, what we are eating is better for us and we are eating slower because we do not have any distractions during meals.

We are not bored at all! We are actually exhausted and so far we have not had time to do much ready or listening to the radio. I think this will change when we get into more of a routine, at least I hope we will.

Laundry is keeping me the most busy with high humidity and trying to get the clothes dry. Years ago I lived in Oklahoma and drying clothes on the line was no problem at all with the climate. In the deep south that is a whole different apple.

  I have most always continued to hang out laundry but when it is raining I use the clothes dryer. Now that we are doing the year of 1943 I will not have that option and it sure is bringing back memories of all those baby diapers being hung out almost daily. Several years ago we went two years without a dryer because ours broke down and we simple did not replace it until there was a family care giving issue and then it became a very helpful item to have once again.

I will try to post weekly and maybe even more often if something occurs to write about. So for now, Take Care, Grandma Donna

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