Monthly Archives: May 2013
I saw a picture today of an antique treadle sewing machine, and it took me back to the visits to Bob’s grandmother’s place in Montana. Grandma’s house was filled with antiques. Of course, at the time she bought those things, they were probably fairly new when she bought them. Of course it was not the antiques in Grandma’s house that really came to mind, but the living room they were in, and all the wonderful times we had in that living room. It was the talks and laughter we had there, and looking at her old pictures, and watching my girls playing while their grandmother just enjoyed the time she got to spend with them and us, and the time we got to spend with her. Precious time.
I remember watching my girls trying to play the piano. They played happily…until we could no longer stand it. Even the songs they played fairly well…like Chop Sticks…got old after a while. Still, like my in-laws the memories of moments at and in front of that old piano will always stay in the memory files of my mind. They aren’t there just because of watching my girls playing there, but because of the reminders they bring of Grandma and Grandpa, and the wonderful visits we always had when we went for our yearly visits.
I remember the times that Grandma would show us the beautiful china she kept in the antique hutch. The hutch was so beautiful. Of course the hutch also contained various little knick knacks and other little mementos from grandmas life. You can tell a lot about a person by the things they collect, and Grandma loved beauty. From the things she sewed to the things she collected. Her beauty, both inside and out, was revealed. Still, it was not the hutch that brought the warmth to the room, but the memories the room contained. Grandma’s house was always such a pleasant place to be. It was a house filled with the beauty that was Grandma, and I can tell you from my own experience, that Grandma was a beautiful lady…inside and out.
Since time began, mothers have been trying to find a way to quiet a fussy baby, when there is work that needs to be done. Women have tried just about everything, probably even ear plugs in an effort to get some peace and quiet when they can’t just stop everything to hold the baby. From the need for peace, there came many inventions, such as the baby sling or the back/front pack, which we can credit to the Indians, who made one to hold their baby, or papoose. Yes, they have been modified but no one can claim the actual invention, except the Indians. This way of carrying your baby while you went about your daily chores has worked well for many a mother, myself included. With two daughters, 11 months apart in age, going to the store was hard, but with a front pack for my youngest, and a back pack for my oldest, I could go by myself to the store or anywhere else I wanted to go, and go I did. Those packs saved my days.
Of course, not all of our work can be easily done in a standing position. Scrubbing, making beds, and lots of other housework requires bending over…something that is difficult with a baby strapped to you. Cradles required someone to rock them, meaning that you have to be sitting. That is fine if you are reading or knitting, but doesn’t work very well if you need to be moving around. Something else would have to be done. Years ago, people used baby swings…of the outdoor version in an attempt to entertain and quiet their baby, but while that worked pretty well, and people could safely leave their babies outside for short amounts of time, it still didn’t work very well if the work that needed to be done, happened to be indoors. From the need to have a babysitter that could rock our babies to sleep, indoors, while we went about our work, came the invention of the modern wind up swing. Aw yes, necessity is the mother of invention.