Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dressed to the Nines

A man in a felt hat. A woman in her best dress and lovely chapeau. They were the men and women of Neff Road.

Mom never wore anything but a dress when I was growing up. Well, none of the women wore anything but dresses. House dresses. Simple cotton frocks for every day wear. A pretty suit or dress for good that lasted a season or two.

When I look back at all the old pictures of family gatherings, the men are in suits and women in lovely dresses. Such dignified people who daily dressed down to house dresses and overalls to dig in the garden and plant in the field. They knew how to work from dawn until dusk and later. They knew what it was to do the dirty jobs without complaint and to stop on Sunday when hard work was put aside for the day of the Lord. Yes, they were dignified, lovely people.

I grew up with handsome men standing at the double doors at Painter Creek Church handing out programs of worship, later passing the offering plate. Mom in her suit and hat lead the choir. My Sunday school teachers were all dressed in their 'Sunday' best. I wore my only good dress and whatever shoes fit me at the time. On Easter, I wore a hat. It was a fine day for a little girl.

I miss those days. I miss the lovely women and handsome men who found escape from the daily grind in those Sunday clothes. I miss the example of those women and men on a little girl who was taught how important it was to be respectful by the way we dressed.

There is no longer that unspoken rule of dressing up for events. I've sat at the opera next to a man in a ski jacket and kids in jeans. Church is now a 'come as you are'. Dressing up seems to be a thing of the past. In many ways, I have no problem with this since it allows freedom of expression. No longer are people judged by the clothing they wear. When I was young, I felt out of place if I wasn't dressed correctly....which was a lot since we didn't have much. But I did have a good dress.

I still dress up when going out for the evening or other special events. Maybe it is a carryover from my youth. Maybe it is out of respect for the event. Maybe it just makes me feel as pretty as those women did back on Neff Road.


Judy Kay said...

That is certainly the way it was. I wonder who the 3 young ladies are in the last pic? The 3 musketeers.

Pamela Loxley Drake said...

The three amigos are certainly lovely girls who grew up to be gorgeous women! I would love to know what happened to Mary.