Saturday, November 26, 2011

26 December 1957 “Put on a Happy Face”

I would like to start today’s post by apologizing for being absent so long. We have had a fine low key Thanksgiving and beautiful weather, but I have felt out of sorts lately.

Maybe it is the approach of the year’s end which heralds my third year into my project living. I think due to my more analytical living, due to my project, I am feeling rather out of sorts concerning our actual time. The future and 2012 has some fear in it for me.

When I innocently began my project three years ago I was excited to uncover the truth of how a middle class homemaker lived. The thoughts, hopes, fears, and dreams she might have had by reading her magazines, watching her TV, and looking at her political world. As the layers peeled back by the end of 1955 I began to see a United States I wasn’t prepared for.

In some ways I have been able, as I am sure many homemakers during hard times were, to try and focus on hearth and home. I wanted to be in the know, certainly, but also to not let it color me too greatly. To ‘put on a happy face’ as they say. Keep the ‘red badge of courage’ lipsticked on my smile. But, in so many ways, the current state of our world leaks through and takes the silver lining out of the best made chin’s up cloud.

The economy is of course something is unable to avoid feeling. And for me to see the various laws and regulations changed so drastically over the past decade to lead us into our current financial state makes me angry. I see the banks and financial institutions simply fraught with greed not unlike a spoilt baby who will not be too told, ‘Too much sugar will make you sick’ but eats and eats in anyway and when it makes a mess we are left to clean it up at our peril. I long for the adults of the past.

In no uncertain terms many things that are wrong today were in some ways begun in the post war USA, but then we had adults. There was a generation of people who had seen and been in hard times. They wanted to make a better world and in so doing their offspring are now running ours.

I don’t like to seem to point a finger at a generation, but it is odd to me that the same generation that had to have rock and roll then practice their freedom of speech have become the very people who now have created the banking world that clutches all of us about the neck and stops any attempts at ones own expression of freedom of speech.

I want the grown ups back. I want the ‘Greatest Generation’ to rise up from their graves and wheel chaired loneliness in nursing homes and make everything right again. To slap their babies who will go on eating too much sugar and let us all know, “We have to have responsibility and be more cautious and put money in our piggy bank and eat our vegetables BEFORE we get dessert and to turn off the TV and go outside and play or read a book instead of play with that toy”. In so many ways its as if the grownups have really left us all to be looked after by the fat bullies on the playground. They want it ALL for themselves and don’t care what happens to us, but if we try and take a piece of their pie they slap us down.

Well, what does all this gibberish and mixed metaphor mean, you might ask? Honestly, nothing really. It has simply left me pondering too much to even handle looking at the computer and following a story from 1957 to today. I have had a good Thanksgiving and a fine visit with friends over coffee and apple pie and then really felt the need to simply percolate. Therefore, this post won’t be looking at any of those particular points, but rather just a timid, “I am sorry” that I have not posted and that I shall indeed get back to it starting today. We do need positive goals and hopes and dreams. We do need to focus on the good while still being aware of the bad. WE need to begin to become the grownups more as others have not done. As our money tightens, the prices rise, the jobs fail, the house equity dissipates, and inflation continues we need to be even more adult. We have to tell ourselves to turn off that TV and do our homework and learn and make do and mend. That is where the homemaker comes in. That has always been her strength caring the family spirit and hope in the hard times. Putting a smile on their face and others as they patch another patch in the threadbare clothes. A cheery tune cooking up a new fun breakfast made from what she can now afford stretched out with filler to make her decreasing pantry not seem so empty. Doing without more fore herself so she can sneak an extra penny in her pin money for the rainy days ahead. We are these things, we homemakers, rather we are full time homemakers or not. Even if we live alone we have to put that smile on our life by keeping our home a safe place a refuge from the increasingly dark world outside. We deserve to feel at home and to feel safe as possible and homemaking skills are important to that morale.

I hope all of you had a lovely thanksgiving, those of you in the USA, and that you were not too tempted by Black Friday to overspend or to support too much the big guys who have taken away much of what we love about small town life from the 1950s. I hope you think more about local or the ‘small guy’ when gift buying this year and put away the “Candy for the spoilt baby” as I believe they have had enough, don’t you think?

So, I shall continue to try and learn more and understand more of my world from then to now but I shall try harder to not let it color me too grey. That I shall continue to see the good with the bad and to learn more so as to be better prepared as the times get harder, if indeed they do. If they do not then I shall not be upset that I am wiser and more experienced. I shall indeed put on my happy face!

Happy Homemaking and Put on a Happy Face, I know I shall try:

I am going to try and post here what new item I put on the forum. Today I have added a fun tutorial on making a vintage Christmas bulb wreath I found online. It is in the Forum under Homemaking, Crafts, Christmas Crafts, enjoy!

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