Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Usual Way of Doing Things

I was raised in a family with four kids which meant that there wasn't much one-on-one time with mom. When I remember back she was a blur of activity, cooking and cleaning and generally caring for her brood. The pace got a little more frantic during the six months out of the year that my grandfather lived with us. Oh, and let's not forget the standard Poodle and eight puppies.

For some reason I don't remember any special habits that my mom engaged in during the day. You know, like always draping the damp wash cloth over the edge of the sink to dry.

Time with grandma was very different because she only took her grandchildren one at a time. That allowed for plenty of one-on-one time. Weekend visits to her house were gold in my book. She'd cook up a big pot of oatmeal with raisins. I hate oatmeal that is cooked in the gooey, sticky method but for some reason it tasted delicious at grandma's house.

Our activities included staying up late to watch old movies. Grandma was a notorious night owl and so am I. She piled her bed full of plump pillows, long before it was the rage. This allowed her to prop herself up near the headboard, surrounded by her beloved newspaper and magazines. She'd spend hours clipping interesting news articles, recipes and other interesting bits.

That's one habit I acquired from her. I probably have 300 recipes that I've clipped or printed out. The chances of me actually cooking all those recipes is pretty low, but I keep them "just in case".

Another little habit I acquired from my grandmother is to tuck my nightgown under my pillow. Does anyone else do that?

When clothing was no longer serviceable she would sit in the easy chair and snip the button off, one by one.

Here's a pile of collars and cuffs, the by-product of my apron making efforts.



I sat in my sewing room and removed all the buttons, giving me a nice little addition to my button jar.



Now if I could just come up with a creative use for those collars and cuffs!

What about you? Do you find yourself repeating little daily habits that you learned when you were growing up?

17 comments:

Domestic Diva said...

Just the other day, I was outdoors watering the vegetables and flowers, It almost knocked the wind out of me, when I realized I was standing (leaning to the left, left hand on my hip, holding the hose with my right hand) EXACTLY like my grandma would always stand every spring and summer while watering all of her plants. She's been gone nearly 2 years, and I miss her so! It is neat though, to be able to see family's habits in yourself here and there. :)

Anonymous said...

I have a nice closet that has a clothes shute in it so I normally dress and undress there and put my nightie on a hook. When I was younger we did put our pajamas under our pillows. Recently on a trip out to my sisters, my room didn't have hook so I neatly folded my nightie and placed it under my pillow. I thought as I did that without thinking, "what a blast from the past that move was".
I too stayed with my Grandmother over weekends. I'd help her wash the dishes and she would always say as I would reach for the paring knife, "be careful, that knife is sharp". I hear her voice echo in my head every time I reach for that paring knife to this day. She's been gone for 40 years.

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Nope cuz I have too many new bad habits to worry about the old ones...

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal
(love the button clipping idea though)

Steph said...

I wash dishes the same way my parents do. When I saw those collars and cuffs, they kind of reminded me of curtain tie backs.

JC said...

Buttons ~ My Mom had a jar full of buttons. I forgot all about it til you mentioned yours.

I unfortunately am not a domestic goddess like my Mom was.

chocolatechic said...

Unstitch the collars and cuffs.

Open them wide and use them for quilting.

I don't tuck my nightgown under my pillow, I lay it neatly and gently on top of my pillow.

lifeinredshoes said...

Grandma's, what wonderful people. Mine have been the light houses in my life. Strong and steady, firm yet loving.
Wonderful, wonderful memories.....

seanymph said...

I love this blog. Reading it reminded me of my mom too.....she was too busy so I was outside playing most of the time. Summers were spent with gramma and I loved that too. I have more memories of gramma,than of mom. Gosh I hope my kids remember me better.

And now Im a gramma and have tried to spend time with each alone and together, teaching them stuff and talking to them. I hope somewhere in time they will remember me like this since Ill be moving away now.

LydaBabes Going Ons!!!! said...

I was also taught to put my nite clothes under my pillow. Every morining when I make my bed I remember both grandmothers telling to be sure and air the sheets before you make it. Something about your body heat or something staying in the bed sheets. So I make sure I shake the sheets and straighten out the bottom one to let my body heat out....weird....haha...

Heidi said...

I put my nighty under the pillow, but thats only so I can find it again!! *double snort* OH, you mean when you make the bed right!!!! Sorry...off track! Could you sew those colors and cuffs together for a table runner of mismatched goodness.... or a nighty maybe! *snicker*

Farmgirl Cyn said...

I didn't have a wonderful grandma, she was rather mean and grouchy. But...I am a much different grandma (Memere) for my own grandchildren...one I hope that they will someday look back on with fond memories!

Mogsie said...

we lived to far away from my grandparents for me to know them ~ I barely even remember them.

I hope that it is not the same for any grand children that I may have one day!

martina said...

Nightclothes under pillow, bed made before you have breakfast. That was Mom's rule and you just can't break Moms' rules! One day a friend commented that I always rest my hand under my chin when listening. I had to laugh--Grandma did the same thing!

martina said...

Here is a subject that somehow came up during our garage sale last week. How many of you wear a nightgown AND pjs at same time? One lady said she did, friend said she wears a nightgown and pj top to bed in the winter. I've never heard of such a thing.

carol rose said...

I found your blog when I Googled "8th Illinois Cavalry Flag"... though I haven't read far enough to find it. I am originally from rural Illinois (near Rockford), living in Pittsburgh, now, but planning a move back to Urbana because I have a son and a new grandson living there. I can no longer abide in the foothills. As I read on in your blog, I saw that you and your grandma are natural Night Owls. Well, that's another thing we have in common! My mother (who lived to be 93) stayed up all night once she retired from teaching and I work the 11-7 shift as a Nursing Assistant. It works for me.

I've enjoyed reading your blog, so far, and will keep you in my bookmark list as a Fave. S'long! (Carol Parker)

carol rose said...

Oh, and I used to put my nightgown under my pillow when I was a kid. Maybe it's a prairie thing?

Kristine said...

If I had a great collection of cuffs and colars like yours, I would make a bag out of them.