Tuesday, May 29, 2012

When I Was 16 !


I was born domestic.  Well perhaps trained? Having all brothers made my mom put all her efforts on making sure I was domestic.

My Saturdays were spent cleaning house, cooking for two days as we did no work on Sundays and always baking, something I did because my mom, a bakers daughter burns all her baking ( to this day!). I didn't mind it too much, although I hated cleaning windows and mirrors, and folding sheets. I would looking longingly out the windows of the house watching my brothers playing soccer. I was out numbered being the only girl.

When I was 16 my mom had bought me a Hope chest. The guys called it my " hopeless chest". I remember putting in it a rug I had hooked and a luncheon cloth I had chicken scratched. The chest is large. We have used it as a coffee table for my 28 years of marriage. I tell the kids to be kind to it because when I die it will become my coffin, granted they will have to put me in the fetal position or break my legs at the knees to get me to fit in it! Then it can truly be called my 'hopeless chest"!
But in my teenage years, I was given gifts from brothers and parents  to fill that chest. My mom had me in tea cup of the month club at the local china store. So each month I got a new tea cup and saucer. When I was 18 I received my fancy good dishes, right to this day I still use it granted it is only 8 place settings and there are nine of here and added mates. I had to buy plain white or clear ones for extra added body members to this family.

By the time I was married I had all the lovely things that make a house a home. And that was before showers and wedding gifts! To this day I still use it all.

My teenager turned 16 last week. She has none of these things. I had started a chest for each girl. They all have one ,even the toddler. But with five girls I could not keep up. They all have their quilt I have made them. They all have an afghan my mom knit them. And hundreds of smocked dresses divided into five trunks. Two of my girls have tea sets. And they all have a family Bible.

But do young ones cherish this these days? Am I wasting my time worrying about this?

My eldest has her own house. She will be getting married next summer. She speaks of gift registers at these fancy stores. They want it all and perhaps get it all? So much for a casserole dish as a wedding present.( I was thrilled when I got mine as wedding presents!)

Today I was dusting the china cabinet this morning and remembered when I was given each item. I think it is the memories that are the happy event. Not the item needing cleaning.

7 comments:

Buttons said...

Oh the cedar chest I bought my girls each one too. They keep things they treasure in it. Now a days they do not need the hope chest it seems with showers and fancy guest registries but I like you love the memories attached to everything in my hope chest. I hope they someday have things they have in a china cabinet to cherish like us. Things do change I am not sure if it is better or not.
B

Jane and Chris said...

I grew up in England where there were no bridal showers and certainly no wedding gift lists. Like you, I was grateful for casserole dishes, drinking glasses, towels, sheets. We ended up with nothing that matched but I didn't care one bit.
Jane x

Janet said...

I had a "hope chest" too ! Wasn't cedar - it was my grandmother's old pine chest. I filled it with emboidered pillow cases, china, teacups, pretty things I liked. It's hard to get my head around these "registries" all the kids these days are into, even for baby showers ! In my day was excited about a cookie sheet or muffin tin ! lol. (and I'm not that old - haha)

Karen said...

The expectation of today's brides boggles my mind. One of my daughters told me that it is PROPER ETIQUETTE to find out what the bridal couple is spending on the meal at their reception, and the gift should equal the value of that dinner! I just about fainted when I asked around and several young people verified that that is the custom among our culture! I have had to turn down invitations to two weddings in the past year because I couldn't afford accomodations, a new dress AND a wedding gift. Oh yes, we can't forget the showers before the wedding too....
I recall an older woman giving my daughter a laundry basket full of laundry and cleaning products, which my daughter thought was down right strange.Lets go back to the good old days!

simplicityinthemaking said...

Perhaps we are all old fashioned. A whole new generationa nd new rules are here. Man what WE have created! btw way Karen I got a laundry hamper and detergents too when i got married. Didn't seem strange then.

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