Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
Grandma Mama had a saying about wearing clothes with patches on them. She would say “There is no disgrace in wearing a patch but there is a big disgrace in wearing a hole.” I think Grandma Mama was very wise.
Children of my generation valued our patched up clothes…. that fit, were washed clean and always pressed. Our clothes and coats were often made from worn out adult clothing. We brushed and aired coats on the line to freshen them. At Grandma Mama’s house washing clothes was a big chore of hauling water, heating it, scrubbing, then repeating to rinse before hanging it all out to dry in the sun. Then the chore of ironing out all those wrinkles with a heavy flat iron. Oiee! We didn’t have permanent press in those days nor did we have electricity. We starched the clothes and ironed them while still damp. No way did we have closets stuffed full of things that we either couldn’t or wouldn’t wear like people have today.
Our clothes were often made in color blocking fashion to make one child’s outfit from two items of adult clothing. If we got a tear or rubbed a hole in our clothing, Grandma Mama knew just the perfect way to fix it. Sometimes it was a darning and sometimes a patch. During my childhood we had very little money but we took great pride in our made over and patched up clothing. Grandma Mama always made my dresses look pretty with crochet lace or embroidery work.
These days, the economy allows everyone proper dress and a good supply of clothing regardless of financial situation. Often clothes are there for the asking. There are sites like freecyle, or local clothes closets, or from a friend or relative willing to load you up with plenty of clothes. Mega malls are everywhere and the amount of clothing available is astounding. Washing our clothes is as easy as stuffing into a washer then turning the knob. Ok, sometimes you have to have coins to feed the machine too. Ironing has become a term used mainly by quilters for their craft.
With all these conveniences, and wealth of stuff to be had, I find it ironic to see our young people preferring holes in jeans, the wrinkled look, sassy stretched out t-shirts, bleached spots, and grossly over sized sports jackets. There is a whole industry of creating nothing but clothing resembling what would have been destined for the rag barrel in my youth.
Hmm…. Women (and some men) are by nature inventive and artistic. Our ingenuity comes through wherever we are located. Today our economy, even though it’s bad at the moment, doesn’t require women to be inventive daily just to survive as our grandparents had to be. Women are turning their talents to developing new and exciting crafts to decorate their homes. To make the surroundings cheerful and to make it all worthwhile. Just look around the internet and you will find thousands upon thousands of women creating different types of crafts. Sure, there are some men being creative too but mostly it’s the women.
It has always been considered women were responsible for the human race. I don’t think that’s changed. Do you? I believe if a new economic disaster were to happen today, it would again be the women who get us through it.