Tuesday, May 3, 2011


What is this?  I have another Mom story to tell, but let me preface it with this.  Everything is downsized today.  One pound of bacon has been downsized to 12 ounces.  Tyson chicken went from 5 lbs to 4 lbs for the same price.  And, this is the part to remember, a square of paper towel is now half the size it used to be. 

As we sat down to dinner the other day, my mother noticed I forgot to put down napkins.  Being the independent soul that she is, she jumped up to get us some.  She didn’t go to the drawer where I keep the cloth napkins, which is what I expected.  To her, paper products are a waste. (I grew up with hankies, never something that would be thrown away.)  She didn’t go to the pantry where I have the paper napkins.   She walked across the kitchen to the place where I keep paper towels and carefully tore off one.  She then ripped that in half and then in half again.  Proudly she came back to the table and placed a postage-stamp size square beside each of our plates.  I giggled to myself. The diminutive piece of paper barely covered my mouth and we were having spaghetti for dinner!  There are some things about us that we can never change.

This made me think about Dr. Morris Massey.  We studied this great sociologist when I was in college.  As I remember, he says that we are not born with our values but they are developed during specific periods in our early years.  I thought about my mother.  She grew up during the depression.  She lived in Kentucky and was the oldest of nine children.  They lived on a farm and they ate what they produced.  She didn’t know about Social Security, or welfare, or Medicare.  Back then, you took care of your own.  You helped your neighbor.  I swear, before she came to live with me, my mother saved every zip lock bag and piece of aluminum foil that she came across.  My mother, bless her heart, is and will forever be a person who scrimps, does without, is frugal and saves for a rainy day.  She believes in waste not want not.  That is the reason I will NEVER let her see my stash of quilting fabric! 

I thought about myself and what makes me who I am.  I grew up during WWII when we had ration stamps, we took items to school for the Red Cross boxes going overseas, we had air raids, we thought that having a job was the most important thing in the world and when you got that job you stayed with that company forever.  I think that was why it was so difficult for me to even think about building a stash.  When I grew up I sewed my clothes and I NEVER purchased fabric unless it was for a specific item, which I would promptly make.  Building a stash was difficult for me.  I think that’s why I love what I call “making fabric,” because it allows me to use up the smallest piece of fabric and avoid throwing it away.  I am my mother’s child. 

All this has made me wonder what my great grandchild will grow up to value.  He is two years old now.  Has every thing he could possibly want.  His parents both work and he goes to Day Care.  At two, he knows how to work the TV, DVD, and phone.  He lives in a world of terrorism.  He won’t be able to play kick-the-can until after dark and run through neighbor’s yards to play hide and seek.  He probably won’t even know his neighbor’s names.  What will he be like as an adult?  What will he value?

What do you think?  Do you ever wonder about such things? 

On another note, check out Em Celebrates today.  She has some updates on her Cat quilt that I previously blogged about here

Quilter’s Cashe has a Silly Chicken Block that is so cute.  Check it out.
PS:  Suddenly all those blogs I follow are not there.  I have no idea what is happening.  I know others are having the same problem.  Sorry.  I hope Blogger gets this fixed soon!

Until next time,


Shayla Sharp said...

I think about those things all the time (I mean, have you seen the new cereal boxes, they're slightly larger than a cake mix!)--for me though, building a stash was something that came naturally from my parents. Part of being prepared for that rainy day, for times when you couldn't afford or find it! Guess it is all in how we view it. I hope future generations will have the opportunity to learn to take care of their own, make do and to know and trust their neighbors.

Barb said...

I think about that all of the time, playing after dark, who would let their chil play after dark? When the kids were younger we tried to have space for them to run in....I think they missed out on the greatest era ever....the era of freedom.

Em said...

You are such a jewel, Caroll!!!!!!

paulette said...

Wow!! Thought provoking post!! Lots to think about while I sew today...thanks for charging the brain cells...or at least the ones that are left!! :o)
Take care!

Allie said...

Oh how I love the Mom stories, lol! My mum grew up during the Depression too, she's a hoarder. She had nothing growing up. I grew up in abundance...after the war....but in a safe neighborhood, where I could go out in the morning and not check in until the streetlights came on. My boys have never known that. I do think about these things too, Caroll!

Mama Pea said...

I think about stuff like that all the time when I look in Elsa's face. I worry a lot about what the world will bring her.

Your stories are great. I love it. I need to be more frugal. I keep telling myself that.

I saw your block on Em's blog today. She loved it! I knew she would! Never any doubt!

Micki said...

I love the mom story.I really enjoyed the post!

Denice Barker said...

I, too, am thinking about it a lot especially lately. I asked the 4th graders at school just this week what they do during summer. Do they have a person watching them? Daycare? Stay home alone? Do they sit in front of the TV playing video games all day while mom and dad are working? Is that ok with mom and dad because then they know where you are? The child who has an original two parent family is very, very rare nowadays. Do you ever just get on your bike and go? How far can you go?
The answers were sad and scary. They have no time to just BE. They are monitored so closely and driven everywhere they go and have no chance to make decisions for themselves. They have no imagination. None. And boy, does THAT show in school! Kids can't think for themselves to do the simplest task because they aren't allowed to. I'm always telling them to "Use your brain. Think it out. You don't need someone to tell you to breathe!" But they think they do and when I tell them stories of my life as a kid they can't even imagine that kind of freedom.
Where did it go wrong? Is there really a boogey man on every corner?
As for the stash. My mom was a Depression child, too. She sewed and her stash would put any of us to shame. I have a stash I hope to get to the bottom of someday. I consciously tell myself to use what I have. Dig deep!!

Rae Perez said...

I was a 70's child but grew up on a farm knowing all the freedoms of just being outside playing and riding my bike everywhere. I was later moved to the suburbs and then learned what it was to be afraid of every stranger that came along. With my children I give them as much freedom as I feel safe with. I never keep them inside but I do still like to be able to look out the window and still see them.
And my stash is still small because I haven't been quilting that long but I'm sure it will grow with time!

Quilting Teachers at the shop.

Quilting Teachers at the shop.
Chris, Marilyn, Jill, Lee Anne, Sue, Vickie

Quilts For Wheels

Quilts For Wheels
Many thanks and much appreciation goes to the women who work diligently each month to make quilts for those in wheel chairs. Kudos go to: Yvonne, Mary T., Fran, Joan, Mary Ellen, Barb, Lee Ann, Nancy, Mary.

Quilting for Kids With Cancer

Quilting for Kids With Cancer
Generosity has no bounds. Above are the women in the Quilts For Kids group at the Attic Window Quilt Shop. Left to right, Henrietta, Phyllis, Nancy, Carol, Karen. These women donate their time, fabric, money once a month to make quilts for kids who have cancer.