Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Resourceful History

Obviously, The Everson Farm Manual offers the early California Closet. Boxes marked and labeled stored beneath clothing, on shelves and stacked in the attic, most likely forgotten until necessity arrived. It makes me wonder when the wooden box was replaced by cardboard. Storage up to then had been in old trunks and blanket chests. With the closet we start once more delving into the past through the pages of the old farm manual.

My Aunt Welma Johnson and mother loved to wallpaper together. They had all of the equipment. When I was very small, I would play in the gooey wallpaper scraps beneath the extended platform that rested on the rungs of two ladders. I loved to climb over the equipment and listen to the women laugh and gossip. It was my time alone with these two women. They wallpapered for themselves and anyone else who asked. Oh, how I loved wallpapering time.

Now we know the origin of the low headboard. When I was small, Mom Johnson took me up to the guest room at the top of the stairs where Aunt Iva's old bed resided. The tall oak headboard was the first I had ever seen. Next to the bed on a lamp table sat a small, china figurine, a beautiful woman complete with a tall white wig and ballgown. My grandmother explained that one day it would be mine. It was not to be. But never will I forget the sight of that high headboard and that moment with a grandma I didn't know very well.

Often I had seen old cans or wood spools covered with fabric and padded for a footstool. I never thought about this as a way for those who couldn't afford a footstool to have the luxury.

Never would I have thought to reuse yarn from an old sweater. Resourceful. We should have remained that resourceful over the years and in the end might have more resources.

I am marking page 81 because I love the suggestions to protect furniture. Valid today as it was then. A new generations learning from those before.

Never have I turned a mattress every week. Never will I turn a mattress every week. Enough said.

We can learn from the past. We can teach for the future. Yes, I grew up in a home where each penny was saved and recycling was a way of life. Now I am the teacher of history, of invention, of awareness. So are you.

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