The Family That Works Together, Aches Together

Yesterday I wrote about falling in the pool and bruising myself and practically tearing my arm from the socket.  My sister wrote a reply about how we are a family that works; that’s just what we do.  It really doesn’t occur to us to ask for help, and generally we just pick up our shovels and dig in, whatever it may be.  I’ve hung drywall (ceiling and walls), dug a French drain around the garage, helped wire the basement, painted, canned our garden vegetables, cleaned house (not as well as I used to and never, ever as well as my Mom did), ironed, mowed/hoed/weeded, helped tear up a concrete driveway, moved furniture by myself (big stuff from upstairs to the basement) (used a sheet), and just generally worked like a mule.

And so has all my family.  And the in-laws.  And the out-laws.  My daughter rewired her bathroom by herself after reading a book on how to do it.  My nieces and nephews and their spouses are just as work hardy:  adding on rooms, changing out windows, plumbing, wiring, washing vehicles; anything that’s there to do, they can do it and do it well.

After reading her little response, I got to thinking about that work heritage and happened upon this picture that pretty well explains why we are all work horses.

Grandma Madeline and Mom 1925

When one was raised in the Great Depression, that person learned to work… and be frugal.  My mother never got over those years of lean times and always worked hard and saved harder.  She saved everything from money to tin foil.  And so did all the other ladies I knew that had gone through those oh-so-tough years.  Then they passed what they knew down to their children because what happened to them, well, it could happen to us, and we all needed to be prepared.

So we were taught at an early age to work:  cook, hang clothes on the line, iron, garden, clean.  Our neighbors up the hill, the Logsdons, had chickens, and Mrs. Logsdon would chop their heads off with an axe as we children squealed and ran from the flopping, headless hen.  Mom never had chickens.  From the photo I would imagine she’d had enough of them when she was small.

That’s probably why she married dad.  He was a grocer; it was what his family did.  So all she had to do was bring it home and fry it up.  Not a bad gig if you’ve ever been chased by a headless chicken.


12 thoughts on “The Family That Works Together, Aches Together

  1. Thanks for this one Brenda, it brought back special memories for me. My Mammaw used to say, “There was nothing good about the Good Old Days.” But that’s probably because she had life very hard. When I think about all the things they did in those days, yes it was hard but there was always such a “special bond of love” back then with family and friends. It’s so good to “remember” those times. Thanks for reminding me of some of mine.


  2. What a great heritage. I hope to teach my children to be workers too! My grandma saves everything also. You can walk in her house and find her drying out ziplock bags after she has washed and rinsed them, same thing with plastic cups. I don’t get it, but how could I? I didn’t have that experience. We are so spoiled. Hope you get all healed up, B. We can’t have a wounded B…


  3. I know times were hard back then, and yet I think it would be good for all of us to experience some of it just a little. We are in a world of me,me, me!!! Instant this, easy that, give me this, give me that…..but don’t ask me to earn any of it. It’s sad…..what’s happened to help yourself, help your family, help your neighbor…….just because it’s the right thing to do!!!

    I’m very fortunate that my husband is a very, hard worker and he has taught my boys to be that way also. I think that’s the key….you have to teach and pass along your morals and values to your children. Don’t leave it to someone else….especially the world!!

    Thanks Brenda for a great story and a reminder of the “Good Ole Days”!!!!!!


    • Girl, this was a mini-blog! What a good job! You two have done a great job with your boys; they are both conscientious and hard working, willing to lend a hand for nothing in return. I love you guys. 🙂


  4. This was a great read! One that can go in the book some day. I will be down at her house “B’s” Saturday to slave away on work she has lined up for me. She needs me sometimes to come down and “getter done”! 🙂


  5. Whew……………..glad to read that about the headless chickens at Peggys………sometimes I thought I must have imagined that!!! Good to know I didnt “dream” that up….haha!


    • Maybe one of these days we can all meet up, or you all can just make a trip down here when you’re at Carmi, or I can come up there. Either way, it would be nice to walk down memory lane with my pictures. Sounds great.


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