Monday, September 5, 2011

Real Life

Being incapacitated has some advantages.
I have been watching a television series on DVD which apparently was run on television, a good few years ago.
It wasn't exceptionally thrilling, spine chilling or funny, yet it captivated the life struggles of that time.
Watching it took me back to being a child growing up in the nineteen fifties,when life was a struggle.
Personally, I didn't realise as much of this at the time, as my mother and elder siblings would have.
We children, lived our lives as many others did... in acceptance.
Life was as it was, we didn't argue or question.

One thing I do know was nothing was taken for granted, and the tiniest gift was received with absolute joy.
Many who read this will no doubt share some of these memories.

Our toilet was way up the back yard, probably because of the smell, and mum grew honeysuckle close by.
There was no such thing as soft toilet paper..unless of course we had scored a box of apples all wrapped in that wonderful soft tissue, it was recycled carefully and used with appreciation..
Otherwise, it was newspaper, ripped and tacked to the unlined wall.

Baths were Saturday night. Wood was collected and the washing copper lit to heat the water.
When hot, this was dippered into the bath. The first bather got about a foot of water, the last bather perhaps two feet, as it was topped up and re-used.
Mum sewed most of our clothes and then they were patched and handed down.
New curtains were rare and the old ones were cut up into a new dress of skirt.
Good clothes were only for good and we took great care not to tear or soil them.
We changed as soon as we arrived home it was a priority. And we wore them as many times as possible before they were washed.
Why? because washing aged them.
Men's shirt collars were replaced as they wore out faster than the rest of the shirt.
This was a slow careful job of removing the old and hand sewing on the new.

You knew your neighbours and everyone cared and shared your joys and sorrows.

Yes I enjoyed watching the series of The Harp of the South, and Poor Mans Orange...
Taken from the books by Ruth Parkes an Australian author.
Yet no matter what country you grew up in in those days, life was pretty much the same.
And...Blessings were counted.

"Count your many blessings name them one by one, 
count your blessings see what God has done.
Count your blessings,.... name then one by one, 
and it will surprise you what the Lord has done."


  1. Your life sounds like mine. Except we mostly used catalogues in the outhouse as those were free. Our apples didn't come wrapped in that soft tissue paper but the mandarin oranges at Christmas did! We had baths the same way except we had gas as I grew older. Originally we started with wood. We children had about 2 good outfits per child and one more formal for church. We changed into our every day clothes as soon as we got home from church or school. The grown ups had several more changes of clothes so they didn't replace collars. By that time I guess things were more accessible to buy. Some good memories. I do still try to carry out some of these ways in small things I do to conserve, extend, reuse, etc. Blessings. xx

  2. I guess we were raised similarly, but we were more blessed in the water and toilet paper departments. I've used Sears catalogs while visiting relatives who lived farther out in the country than we did, though. I even used corn-cobs once, when on a horseback ride. I went "prepared" after that!

  3. Just this evening my children were laughing when I told them how we used an outhouse when I was growing up in Fiji and that we used old newspapers in the place of toilet paper. They couldn't believe it! They thought it was hilarious our having to use newspapers. :)

  4. I remember watching both those mini series on telly. I have since read the books. Ruth Parkes is a story teller for sure.
    Crystal I hope you get to feeling better soon. I can't believe you are still suffering so much. Much love. xxx

  5. Nice post!---yes, the fifties were a better time in many ways. So many wonderful memories. It seemed that folks cared more about each other back then.

    Hope you're feeling better.

  6. Hi Penny, We didn't get catalogues until about the eighties here.. and that newspaper was so hard. xx

    Gorges, I cannot imagine corncobs LOL..

    Vilisi, yes those times were just accepted by us as natural..I can imagine my grandchildren laughing.

    Rooee mate xx the pain is still there, I am watching my diet and acidic foods, seems to help. xx

    Hi Clint, thanks mate.

    Gorgie, blessings your way. xx

  7. I wish I could go back to some of these days, for I think it would teach me even more on how to enjoy the moment of things.

  8. Oh my, what a story! I grew up in the fifties, too. But did not have things as hard as you did! I bet to this day you don't like the smell of honeysuckle!

  9. Okay that was a very interesting post. We are the same age I think, but I didn't have the same background - although I heard of it. Gosh! Whew! You didn't know you had it so rough.

    Love and hope your knee is feeling a bit better every day.


  10. I agree! The catalogue paper was rough but we used to scrunch it up and try to make it soft before using. Maybe that is why I now make sure I have all kinds of toilet paper on hand.


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