THEN AND NOW

MEMORIES

I have been de-cluttering  my closets for the last several months.  Not having a great deal of progress.  For example, I put a turkey platter aside to get rid of, (it was an inexpensive platter, white with a raised turkey design in the center), but then I started to remember when my mother gave it to me.  It was the first year of my marriage and I used that platter for years.  It wasn’t just that memory but brought to the surface all the memories of parents sharing Thanksgiving dinner, a time when my children were little and my husband and I had our hopes and dreams for the future.  The platter is still with me.

It is true that one still has the memories, but the memories are numerous and the catalyst is the item.  Another example is decorating the Christmas tree.  Last year I gave members of my family some of my ornaments that I thought would have special meaning to them.  However, I kept the ones that brought to my mind the most treasured memories as each one has a story.   Sometimes placing these ornaments on the tree make me smile as I remember not only the giver but the happiness when I received them.  Other times it brings tears to my eyes as the giver is no longer here.  Regardless, I cherish all the memories happy or sad and will carefully keep them for the next year.

I will continue to purge my closets, though the process is slow.  Each item I get rid of deserves to be remembered though maybe not kept.

I found the following in my desk drawer, good thoughts to live by.

The Secret To Happiness Is Such

Erase past failures                                                                                                                           Find a goal                                                                                                                                      Practice patience                                                                                                                            Never give up                                                                                                                                  Have many friends                                                                                                                        Overwhelm enemies with kindness                                                                                           Jest ewwhen depressed                                                                                                                Win and lose fairly                                                                                                                        Marvel at the wonders of nature                                                                                                Yearn for peace of mind                                                           Author unknown

 

THEN AND NOW

HALLOWEEN

I have just bought my Halloween candy for the trick or treaters and it got me reflecting on changes throughout the years.

When I was a youngster my mother had a trunk in the attic with various Halloween costumes; a clown, gypsy, witch and other odds and ends.  A few days before halloween my sisters and I would sort through the trunk for our costumes.  I remember on the day of halloween carrying a bag to school with my costume for our school party which was held in the afternoon.  While we were at school my mother would prepare the treats she would be passing out that evening.  She would fix packages of loose candy wrapped in a napkin and tied with larger packages going to our friends and immediate neighbors.  There were no miniature candy bars sold then.  Most of the treats we collected were candy corn wrapped in packages, peanut butter kisses, suckers, apples, pennies and chocolate bars.  Also when going house to house we called in unison,  “Help the poor.”  We would start begging  when it got dark outside coverd a five block area, teturning home around nine P.M. We were a large group of kids (no parents going out with us) and we and our parents felt safe.

When my children were little one parent always walked with their children and their friends with their parent.  By then candy manufacturers got wiser and sold all kinds of candy individually wrapped and miniature size candy bars.  Convenience and necessity brought some of these changes around following a darker side of Halloween.  In the 60″s kids celebrated Devil’s night pranks.  This included ringing doorbells, soaping windows both house and car, and egging houses.  It had gotten so bad that some irate recipients of these pranks started giving nasty things inside the children’s bags.  Some even put razor blades inside apples causing serious injury.  In Detroit houses were set afire, one year 800 were burned.  This was indeed a very dark side of Halloween and we never let our children participate in  any type of prank.  Parents checked over all candies collected looking for any tampering of treats.  Any open wrapper or suspicious treat got thrown out.

Today Halloween is the second largest holiday, after Christmas.   Houses are elaborately decorated, parents either walk with their children or drive them to neighborhoods.  Kids still eagerly pick out their costumes, and I must say there are some very creative ones.  I for one love seeing children dressed up and trick or treating, leaving out the tricks.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

 

THEN AND NOW

 

ANTIQUING

Last Saturday I visited several antique shops and had a wonderful trip down memory lane.  They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but as I looked and revisited the past I wondered if you can teach a new dog old tricks.  Let’s go back fifty or sixty years.

I used to work in an office with engineers.  The only computer was Hal, a monstrous computer in the developing stage, which took up a whole room.  I remember visiting Hal and was instructed to type in my name.  After much noise of gears groaning, Hal begins to play tic tac toe with me, of course he always won.  This was exciting to see a machine able to communicate, however limited.  It was many years later that computers and technology came back into my life.

I will be the first to admit my computer skills are lacking.  I know computers can do way more than I am able to navigate.  But, in my day I could type 80 words per minute using all my fingers and thumbs.  I used to take dictation using Gregg shorthand, with an ink pen, at 120 words per minute.  If I had to type a letter or memo and needed to make four copies carbon paper was used between original paper and onion skin paper copies.  There was no auto correct or spell check, so it had to be accurate, with little or no erasures.   Copiers were ditto machines and  mimeograph, which took some skill to prep and run.

Between the typewriter ribbons, carbons paper and ink from copiers, I always had blue ink on my hands and if I was lucky not on my clothes.

When I had a job in retail while in high school I had to add items, add sales tax, count out change, and balance my cash register without the aid of calculator or computerized register doing it for me.

It was fun remembering the old days with the array of office mahines and household goods that were considered modern in my day.  I can’t help but wonder what the next fifty or so years will bring.

  

MY CHOICE

If I were to choose one person to represent the whole human race I would choose my mother.

Her hands, strong and capable, showed a lifetime of working for her family and neighbors.

Her eyes, soft brown doe eyes, showed compassion and understanding. Happiness and sorrow.  Hope and love, not only for her family but for all who were a part of her life.

Her smile, friendly and encouraging encompassing everyone she knew and met.

Those are the attributes I would choose to represent the whole human race. 

 

FIFTY YEARS AGO

Today I celebrate my son’s fiftieth birthday.  Of course like any mother every detail of that day is remembered as if it happened yesterday.

Fifty years ago father’s  were not allowed in the delivery room or even in the labor room.  Fathers were left in waiting room, every once in awhile someone would report on progress made toward delivery.

Mothers were left to strangers to help them through labor and delivery and if it was a busy day you spent most of that time alone.  This was to be my second child so I knew what to expect.  There was no Lamaze training and no family to support me during the twelve hours before my son made his appearance.

Of course the sex of my child was unknown til he arrived.   My husband was told, by the doctor, it was a boy, 7 lb.12 oz. and 21 inches long.  It was only after we were cleaned up and left delivery room on our way to our room (4 to a room), that he was able to see his newborn son.

I was settled in my room with three other mothers and our children were separated from us, taken to the nursery.   Us mothers got our babies for feedings and there were no visitors allowed during that time, not even the fathers.  We were not allowed out of bed while we had our babies with us.

My hospital stay was three days, leaving on the fourth day after admission.  The nurse brought my son into the room and she is the one who dressed him to go home, he was placed in my arms (I was in wheelchair), for the ride home.

No baby car seats at that time.  He rode in my arms in front seat.

Today, Dads are involved from the very beginning, starting with Lamaze classes.  Ultra sounds will tell you sex of baby if you choose to know.  I personally like the surprise of what you will have.

Labor is still labor, however, having the father sharing this event is certainly the better way, as I know with the birth of my third son.

Today, Dads are not only are in delivery room but often assist and cut the umbilical cord.  Dads often are the first parent to hold the newborn.

Private rooms with baby, both parents get to share in meeting baby’s needs such as feeding and diaper changing . A whole lot of bonding which is a good thing.

Times have changed dramatically in fifty years.

Happy Birthday son.

 

 

 

 

 

Then and Now: Weddings

THEN AND NOW

 

I was married over fifty years ago and remembering planning my wedding is interesting comparing “then and now”.

One of the big changes is registration for wedding gifts.  I remember going to the J.L.Hudson store, downtown Detroit to select my Fine China, Crystal and Silverplate dinnerware.  This was pretty much what the registry was all about, place settings were expensive and someone could get one or two place settings, or two or more of your crystal, [mine was registering for water, champagne and wine].   With the luck and generosity of your guests, you could end up with service for eight to twelve, plus service pieces.

Weeks before my wedding, the Hudson truck was frequently seen at my parents house, delivering wedding gifts.  These were opened by myself and my future husband and displayed on my mother’s dinning room table for friends, neighbors, and relatives to view.

Today hardly anyone wants Fine China or Crystal glasses, they are not compatible with automatic dishwashers.  Many couples today already have most household items as have already been living on their own.

Registration today for the happy couple will include yard tools and various cooking utensils from stores such as Target, Walmart, and William Sonoma.  Registering for parts of their honeymoon is another clever addition.

Today I still have all my China, Crystal glasses, and silverware, not used, sitting high up in a cupboard, because I too,  would rather put everything into my dishwasher.