Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Folded to Perfection

A changing time. Yes, I grew up in a changing time. TV's in every home. Girls going off to college. A generation looking for change.

I didn't know what a career was when I was growing up. My Aunt Welma had gone to secretarial school when she was young. Grandmother Loxley and my Aunt Kate were school teachers. Mom wanted her daughters to go to college, probably because her father would not let her go.

The life we lead aimed us towards a life of homemaking. We grew up with mothers making soap, plucking chickens, sewing clothes and focusing on family every minute of every day. 4-H consisted of sewing and cooking unless you had an animal to raise and show. I wasn't very good at any of it. I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do because no other options came into view.

Mrs. Frantom was our Home Economics teacher when I attended Franklin Monroe High School. Again, we learned to sew, to cook, to provide a home for husband and family. In her class, I learned to fold my future husband's shirts and to pack a suitcase for his business trips. I learned first aid so I could be medic in residence. I could make a white sauce and cook a whole chicken.  I wanted to escape so I could discover if there was more to life....more to me. I knew that I didn't fit in my mother's type of life.

"Grammy, how did you know how to do that?" my granddaughter asked as I folded the blouse.

Oh, my dear granddaughter, I learned it when I was 18 from Mrs. Frantom. I can't remember much more from that class, but I can fold a shirt to perfection.

It was a time of change, of moving into a new era, of women with careers and those making their homes their own and not their mother's.

For many years I struggled to find myself. I'm not sure, but I think I might have found me.

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