I love old magazines. My friend found a gem for me. The June 1927 issue of ‘The Ladies’ Home Journal’. The cover is missing but the rest of the magazine is all there. I store it on the top shelf of my closet. I look through it every once in awhile. I like the fashions of the 1920’s when my grandma was a young mom and my own mom was just a kid. When I look through it, I wonder if my grandma read this issue years ago. She always enjoyed reading women’s magazines.
It covers everything that women like to read about today; fashion, beauty, famous women, taking care of loved ones, striving for smooth skin, and a good love story.
It’s too big to fit in our scanner so I had to take pictures of it. But I think you’ll still get a good idea of this wonderful old read.
There are only a few chipped, glued together plates and a teapot left from the set of everyday dishes that our family used for many years.
I was a young kid in the early 1960s, living in a small town. When Minnesota winters can be sub-zero and Jack Frost leaves his artwork on every window, it’s nicer to stay inside. Winter can seem like a long season when one is indoors for most of it. For the housewife, there was plenty to do with the housework and taking care of the family. If she wanted a break, she could watch a soap opera on TV, or telephone a friend, but by spring, she was ready to get out of her abode and catch up with the other cooped up ladies. When winter was over it was much easier to go back and forth to the neighbors to visit. No need to bundle up and step over snow banks.
The theme for Woman’s History Month (2013) was ‘celebrating women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics’. The names of famous women who’ve done impressive things is too long to list here. But I can think of several women in my personal history who are worth a mention when talking about outstanding females.
I think of my Grandma Frieda who made homemade root beer (science), fetched water from a hand pump (technology), made rag rugs on a loom (operating engineering), and had to budget every dime (mathematics).
She was born at the turn of the 20th century to Swedish farmers, spending most of her life near the Minnesota-Wisconsin border where the Rock Creek bends and turns through beautiful country. A typical girl of that time and place, she lived a simple life on the farm, then as a young adult married a local man.
That’s just me hangin’ out by the jack-o’-lantern waiting to go trick-or-treating. It was 1961 and I was 5 years old. (Notice the dog face to the right of the pumpkin. I wish I could say this was a ghost dog that appeared when the picture was developed, but it’s nothing like that, it’s just our dog, Lassie.)
My mom had taken me to the five and dime store to buy my costume.
I walked into the drug store late on a Friday night when I noticed a sign saying “OPEN 24 HOURS”. I’m glad they stay open late. It was the only chance I had to get shopping done before the weekend. Next stop would be the grocery store, open until 11:00.
When I was growing up in the 1960s, my dad owned a hardware store. You’d never see that sign in his store or any of the stores in our small town. They all closed at 5:30. But Friday nights were different. The stores stayed open until 9:00.
For me, springtime isn’t just the greening of the earth and watching nature awaken in color as I enjoy the warmer weather, it’s also a time to gather with other women in church basements and eat salads.
My dad…I thought he was the next thing to Superman. Even though he didn’t leap from tall buildings, (although I did see him fall out of a tree once landing on his feet!), he could do a little of everything, and do it well.
When I was a kid, my friends and I were outside all day long in the summer. After breakfast I was out the door and into the summer sun where us kids decided what we wanted to do when we wanted to do it.
We were old enough to leave the yard but not old enough to have a summer job. This is a glorious and brief time in a person’s life. Those years between your mother’s apron strings and sliding into the work world. The ‘Tom Sawyer’ summers, I call them. Days spent outside, barefoot, with no keys, money or phone to carry. Days that were simple.
Looking through old family photos, I see the way folks used to do things and noticed how much things have changed.
hard work, a way of life
Sharpening Above, using scythes and wet stones.
Above, my grandfather using real horse power.
Above, my grandmother on the right. I’m sure she made her apron.