Everything touches your family. Even people and activities that seem to have nothing to do with you will in some way touch your family. Sometimes it is good to have another person's perspective about what is happening around us. This is that place.
Monday, November 5, 2012
Following in Grandma's Footsteps—Day 5 of a Town Girl Touched by the Farming Life
I find a
recurring theme from those who live on farms to be pretty basic: Make do, or do without. Another common farming lifestyle principal is
similar: Do it yourself. These same principals have touched many
families and have been very influential in my life, especially my growing up
years. As a result, I will probably use
several of my blog entries this month for examples of this.
other city folk reading this may be exclaiming, "Hey, I have always lived
like that." That may be very true, but
for me, the roots of these principals did not germinate in town. Instead, they can be traced to my parents',
or more so, my grandparents', country living.
Today, let us take the basic necessity of clothing.
mom patched and patched the clothes of her family. There was very little money for new
clothes. One of my mother's treasured
Christmas memories was getting a pair of brand new pajamas—ones that had not
been worn by anyone else. It was her
only Christmas present that year, but she felt very rich. It was an extravagant gift.
As she got
older, she wanted more than just patched clothes—even though she appreciated
what she had. She took her 4-H book and
began following the directions.
Fortunately, her Aunt Mary had an electric sewing machine, which was
easier to use than the treadle machine at home.
Over time she took home economics in junior high and high school and her
sister helped with a few projects. Even
so, trial and error became her best teachers.
If you jump
to the years of my memory, mom sewed all the time. We very rarely bought new clothes. In general, if we couldn't find it at a yard
sale in good shape, Mom made it, and she made it with a level of quality we
were happy to wear. Over the years her
accomplishments include play clothes, dressy outfits, blue jeans, underwear,
swimsuits, suit jackets, wool skirts, and home trimmings.
formal gown constructed by my sophomore
formal designed by my junior
fact I sewed many clothing articles while in high school and some more in the years
after, I do not sew that often now.
However, my girls do. I require
them to take a sewing project every year in 4-H and sometimes clothing
decisions on top of that. Being able to
sew what you might want or need is a necessity in my book. Ironically, my older two complained so much
about sewing when they were growing up that I half expected them to stop when
they became adults. They did not. In fact, you can find some of their well-made
purses and other items at http://hyenacart.com/stores/twiceisnice.
On top of that, the daughter who has
started a family sews up a storm from curtains to bridesmaid clutches to waterproof
cloth diaper covers with snaps. Many
times, the fabric she uses has been re-purposed from other projects of hers or
items found at the thrift store. You can
see some of her projects at www.morelikehome.net.
I expect the
"Make-do-or-do-without" or "Do-it-yourself" attitude will
touch the rest of my family the same. If
they follow in the footsteps of their grandma and older sisters, then that will
be fine with me.