Aunt Norie’s sewing room
Maybe it’s called making conversation, but when someone in a group, of us “old timers” says, “Remember when ...” I can almost explode, so to speak. There were no Band-Aids, no plastics or paper towels, no paper sacks when shopping.
No, just hold it right there. Store counters had this huge roll of paper mounted on the end of each counter, with this huge cone of string. Your purchases were wrapped, like a package, tied with the string.
At the meat counter, there was no pre-wrapped meat (just pick up and go stuff). Oh no, you looked in this glass showcase of all the meats and the butcher even cut your steaks, etc., and then they too were wrapped and tied with string, only his paper was white and wax coated.
Oh, and no strolling along the shelves, putting a can of this and that in a cart or basket. No, you stood on the other side of the counter and told the clerk, who got it from the shelf.
A friend brought me a winter onion start the other day. They really grow all winter, don’t freeze. They never grow the big ball onion on the bottom. All homes had gardens along the fence or in a corner was the clump of winter onions, so when you ran out of the fresh onions, you had hung or stored for winter use. And you really needed that onion seasoning. You had a fresh green onion you could even pull out of the snow.
You see, you couldn’t even run down to the quick stop. There were no package mixes. Instead, all of the cooking and baking were all done “from scratch.” You measured, sifted and mixed, and very carefully if you wanted your cake or cookies to come out right.
No Band-Aids, there’s a whole story in itself. If you needed a sterile covering for a cut, for instance, you got out the old “sad iron.” It had to be heated on the hot stovetop and then you tore a strip of clean white cloth and actually scorched — or nearly burned — it to be sure it got hot enough to sterilize it, then laid it over the cut. You then wrapped a long narrow strip of cloth around and over it, tying it with a very narrow torn piece of cloth. I don’t know when adhesive tape came along, but that was a big help. The Band-Aids were a real event.
Ladies groups got together just to tear and fold old worn sheets and white cloth of any kind to make bandages for the Red Cross, which always was in great need of bandages, for the soldiers even. When children outgrew their need for diapers, that was great cloth for soft bandages. Oh, nothing was wasted.
The world is moving too fast today as far as a lot of us old timers are concerned. Children are missing so much. Do we really have to move so fast?
See you all next week.
Aunt Norie, P.O. Box 265, Tonganoxie 66086; firstname.lastname@example.org.