FIFTY LIFE QUESTIONS

DID YOU HAVE ANY CHORES GROWING UP?  WHAT WAS LEAST FAVORITE?

When I was as young as four my chore was to do dusting.  Mostly all the low areas, table legs, chair rungs, etc.  I couldn’t wait to move up to other chores like my sisters did such as changing sheets.

As I got older chores did change.  My sisters and I would rotate cleaning up after dinner; one would clear the table which included scrapping plates for garbage (no garbage disposals at that time) and sweeping the floor, another would wash the dishes, this included heating a large pot filled with water to wash the dishes as we did not have an automatic water heater.  The dishes were rinsed with cold running water and placed on sink counter for the next one to do their job of drying the dishes and putting them away.

We often fooled around during clean up time and were reminded by our parents to get busy.

So to answer the second part of question, to this day I’m not a fan of dusting, it just keeps coming back.  I also hated washing the dishes and pots and pans because the water cooled rapidly and I did not like the cold water rinse.  However, I remember fondly the time my sisters and I got silly, laughed and sometimes argued over whose turn it was to do a specific chore.

FIFTY LIFE QUESTIONS

DESCRIBE A TYPICAL FAMILY DINNER

We were a family of seven and we always ate dinner together.  Our dinner hour was based on my father’s work day.  He was a factory worker, rising at three or four each morning so our dinner hour was usually four in the afternoon.  Saturday and Sundays were different as we ate our dinner early afternoon.

Another factor in our dinner time was based on my mother’s work day.  She was a homemaker as were most of the mothers during that era.  As the rhyme goes. Monday she washed the clothes early and hung them up to dry, Tuesdays she ironed the clothes, (no drip dry), Wednesday’s she baked, Thursday’s she shopped and Friday’s she cleaned from top to bottom.  So four of those five days our meals were rather routine, we always knew what day of the week it was by our dinner that night.  But, the other three days of the week we knew we would have something different and  tasty.

Sunday dinners are the most memorable to me for many reasons.  For one thing my father was well rested as his work week was Monday through Friday.  Sunday’s were truly a day of rest and we looked forward to our largest meal of the week.  

Our Sunday menu started with pasta, usually spaghetti with red sauce;  a meat entree of either roast beef or pork with roasted carots and potatoes; or roasted  chicken with mashed potatoes and corn or peas; always a tossed salad; dessert of cake or jello with sliced bananas.

But what I remember most about our Sunday meal was my Dad’s stories.  As kids we were quick to eat, often just eating quickly, and like most children we wanted to hurry and go out to play.  My father, however, captured our interest with stories of his youth, or his voyage to America, or when he met my mother.  My father was not in any hurry to complete his meal, he started a story, paused to take a bite of his food, chewed slowly then gave us the next line or two of his story.  We were impatient to hear the story without all the pauses, but he kept us at the table to hear more and ask our questions.

I don’t know if his story telling style was by design or not but it worked in keeping us at the table until he was finished with his meal.  Each of us probably remember his stories a little differently, as my mother would sometimes interupt him with her take on how the story should go.  

This is one of the most memorable family times  I have, a good meal I took for granted, good stories I still remember and  precious family time I now appreciate more than ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HEALTH

FINDING OUT WHAT’S WRONG

A friend and I were talking and she wondered why it took her doctor so long to tell her what her physical symptoms and complaints meant.  

I know it can be frustrating and worrying to not get answers, and having to play the waiting game.  Doctors do not have a magic ball, they must listen to complaints, gather lab results and other diagnostic tests then eliminate what they know it isn’t.

Similar to how a mechanic would diagnose your car troubles.  In fact the body is very much like a car.

Remember getting a brand new car.  The body shiny and sleek.  Hardly any miles on it.  Started quickly, ran smoothly and had many exciting miles to go.  As the car got older it might not have run as smoothly, or started quickly, sometimes stalled or had slow pick up.  But, the engine was still good, getting you where you wanted to go.

There were major and minor problems along the way and a good mechanic often could pinpoint the problem through diagnostics, elimination of what is not wrong, and perhaps replacing a few parts.

In both situations it is unsettling and worrisome as you don’t know what to expect or how it will effect you either physically or in your pocketbook.  Thoroughness takes time and a diagnosis will come.

You will usually get the same advice on both counts, “Give it good fuel and regular maintenance.”

Good Health 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

  

50 LIFE QUESTIONS

 WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY

There are several outstanding things I remember.  My mother was a great baker, she baked twice a week Wednesdays and Saturdays. She made pies, cream puffs and light fluffy cakes.  The baking she did on Wednesdays were my favorite, it was just me and my mother, my three older siblings were all in school so I must have been three or four.

I didn’t help her bake but got to watch, I especially liked her cakes, maybe that’s why cake is my favorite dessert to this day.  Mom didn’t have an electric mixer, it was all done by hand.  She would sift the flour several times, the sifter had a hand crank on the side.  Sometimes she measured and other times she just knew how much to add.  Once all the ingredients were together in the bowl, then she would hand beat the batter, I remember her saying this was her exercise.  I’m sure the lightness of her cakes was the skill in which she could beat that batter.  Into the greased and floured cake pans then into the oven.  The cake pans had a narrow metal bar that lay flat from the center of the pan with a small tab along the rim of the pan.  This turned 360 degrees around the bottom of the pan once the cake was baked to help loosen it.  I was always fascinated by this.

My mother prepared the frosting pretty much the same way, sifting the sugar and beating by hand til it was the right consistency.

After the cake was cooled and frosted there was always some icing left in the bowl.  That’s what I waited for.  My mother always gave me the bowl and told me not to tell my sisters I got to lick the bowl.  I remember watching my sisters come home from school and probably thought it was a good idea to deny having licked the icing bowl, so I said, “I didn’t lick the bowl.”  

And that is one of my earliest memories.

GOOD HEALTH

 Fall is rapidly approaching and soon we will be seeing signs and reminders to get your flu shot.  This is certainly a good reminder and getting a flu shot is something I strongly recommend.  However, pharmacies will want you to get this shot as soon as possible, the end of August and beginning of September.   This is not the best time to get a flu shot.  Mid October through November is the best time to get your flu shot.  The flu usually starts after the Christmas holidays and generally peaks in February/March.  If you get your shot too early you may not be totally covered by vaccine at time when the flu peaks.

I have heard people saying, “I always get the flu after getting my shot.”  First of all the influenza shot contains the dead virus in a small amount to get your immune system prepared to fight off the flu virus.  There probably have been some people who did get the flu after shot, but they may be already  infected with the virus.  If you get the live vaccine, a nasal spray, well that could happen but it generally doesn’t if you are healthy at time of administration.

Fall also brings us all the fresh fruit and vegetables.   Most of us wash our fruit and vegetables before eating them.  This is just a reminder to wash fruit such as cantaloupe, and melons too.  Even though you do not eat the outer shell, a knife cutting through the fruit can and has contaminated the fruit inside.

Stay healthy, get your flu shot and wash your raw fruits and vegetables as well as your hands.

 

50 LIFE QUESTIONS

Question:  What fads do you remember from your youth.

There were two specific fads I remember well.  Both were when I was in Junior High (Middle School).  One started with three girls who started to wear gray confederate caps.  They wore them throughout the day, in every class.  Within the week there were at least double the girls wearing these caps and soon just about everyone began buying and wearing these caps, boys as well as the girls.

I did not participate in this fad only because I didn’t have the $2.00 to buy the cap and my parents did not indulge me my giving me the $2.00.  There were a few of us who did not have this cap, probably for the same reason.

I don’t remember how long the fad lasted, probably only that semester but, to a young teenager it seemed to last forever of which I was not a part of  but, these many years later can appreciate not being a participant.

The other fad that I did participate in was having a lightweight white jacket.  I think I got one for my birthday and then with a permanent black ink pen, friends, classmates and anyone you could get signed your jacket.  It was cool to have your jacket covered with signatures.  I loved it, but my older sister thought I ruined a good jacket.