Welcome to a series that will be posted on Fridays – taking a look back at some of the skills from the past that were used in daily life. Skills that aren’t common just one or two generations later. Feel free to chime in! – We love to learn from our readers… share your thoughts and any insight you have as we try to be mindful of the past and carry that resourcefulness with us into our futures!
Mending Until You Simply Couldn’t Mend Anymore
As a young adult I remember standing – paralyzed in amazement – with my jaw quite near the floor. It was a moment of epiphany for me to find out from my mother that my grandmother used to remove the collars of my grandfather’s worn work shirts and turn them around with the fresh fabric facing his skin and sewing it back into place.
Use it up / Wear it out / Make it do / Do without
It was something she did that represented their entire state and lifestyle for me. OK, it certainly wasn’t exactly an act of a heroine but to this day I remember how it struck me…. How far removed from that type of need I actually lived… How thankful I was that I didn’t HAVE TO do that… How intrigued I was at how she always seemed so content to me as a child – so happy – and that seemed to contradict the apparent facts of what she had to do to help her family get by. I’ve read of Depression Era women mending holes in socks with good patches from socks that were beyond repair! > Whoa.
Could I if I needed to? And what’s more… could I do it and be content? Absolutely. Many of those who not only survived but raised families during the Depression Era lived saturated in truth… While it wasn’t fun to be in such need, it had a way of turning them for the most part to a deeper sense of joy that didn’t originate from ‘things’. It pointed them toward a strength they had – and that you and I have as well.
A fabulous book by Amity Shlaes called The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression < this book highlights many stories of individuals from a hard working, resourceful, free market perspective. It has come to my mind countless times in our journey to become more self-sustaining on our little homestead and as we learn to do more and more for ourselves – things that just a generation ago were commonplace.