Wednesday, September 17, 2008

HOME MAKING -or- what makes a home, anyway?

Sometimes when I think about the decade that I was a kid in - a single digit kid that is, I think about trying to describe some of the differences to my kids. Sometimes I give it a whirl, sometimes I sigh and decide it just makes me seem like such a relic.

I mean. Houses were ranch style. Sprawling. They were nice but they were efficient. We l-i-v-e-d in them. Things the family used sat out in plain view. Phones. TVs. Radios. Blenders. Why, it was even common to see a napkin holder on a table. OUT. Y'know. Such as that. Yards were y-a-r-d-s. The grass was green and we had flower gardens, foundation plantings and so on, but as I recall nobody was rabid about landscaping. The kitchen was the center of the house and pots and pans were well used and bunged up, sometimes enamel was even chipped and that's because it was U-S-E-D every day, every day, e-v-e-r-y day. The bacon drippings crock was a large part of the kitchen decor.

The writing or telephone desk was a fundamental piece of furniture. That was back when the telephone stayed in its place securely connected to the wall and we were the boss of it instead of . . . . . well, you know.

I was looking at the volume of my kids' toys -which is moderate compared to their friends-, and I was just thinking that when I was a kid I would have thought I was rich beyond my wildest dreams if I had as many toys as my children. We had some books and one toybox of toys. To be fair, my toybox was a hardsided laundry hamper with a hinged lid that my Mom covered with colorful fabric and edged with trim. I didn't appreciate it a whole lot then but now looking back on it I think a couple of my buddies had round laundry hampers to chunk their toys in. I should thank her for that toybox. I could go on forever about my toys but for the sake of your eyes and having a topic for another post, I will not tell you about my homemade Barbie clothes, homemade stilts and so on WHICH, by the way, were all better and OH so very sought out by all my friends. The Tiedye house was always where all the kids were and it wattn because of bossy Tie for that you can be sure.

It seems like the bathroom was pretty spartan. It never smelled of luxurious bath salts or candles, but rather the smell of Comet always hit your nostrils the moment you walked in, lingered a moment and then was replaced by the strong but pleasant scent of Camay soap, which had a cameo embossed on the front; again, a large part of the bathroom decor, second to the Kleenex box. I can't find that soap now or that stuff would be in my bathrooms as I type. Another example of things you needed sitting out in plain view? Toothbrushes. Manual ones were hung right there on the wall off the ceramic tile toothbrush hanger thingie that had the cup indention in the middle, and electric ones had one base and each family member had their own toothbrush head with a different colored dot. It sat on the countertop. (Eww. What we didn't know then....)

The house never smelled luxurious either. It either smelled like Mama had just vacuumed or dusted, or it smelled like the floor furnace or (when we finally got one), the window air conditioning unit. Twice a week it smelled like Mama had just set and dried her hair with the home Sunbeam hair dryer with the bonnet. All definitive smells. Home smells.

But you know what? Who's to say those aren't luxurious smells? I enjoy them. My kids friends however are not familiar. They come home from school with my kids, walk in the door, crinkle their nose and say, Oooh Mrs. Tiedye what do I sah-mell? Yee-ikes! Well honey bear, that's Comet. Oooh Mrs. Tiedye it's HOT in heah. Well honey the windows are open. Ooooh Mrs. Tiedye what're you doin? You been in here awhile! I'm c-o-o-k-i-n-g, babydoll. Go on back outside, dinner'll be ready in about fifteen minutes.

I'm so thankful for living in today. I'm thankful for the advantages of technology I enjoy them regularly. I'm also thankful for having grown up when I did and knowing I don't have to live by today's standards if I like my own better.

Life's good.

1 comment:

Bee said...

Oh. lord. Camay soap and Comet! And a banged up rice pot that had a well-fitting lid, but the handle was broken off. Life was good, then. But it's good now, too, huh?