Rewards Are Just So Nice

If I have heard it a hundred times, I have said it two hundred: Poor people have poor ways.  I am not talking about destitute; that is a whole different animal.  Their ways are unique and sad and so very difficult, and I could use a thousand adjectives.  My mother grew up in the Great Depression, so I have heard stories of destitution.  If you have never read Grapes of Wrath, get a box of tissue and get the book.  I still cry when I think of that book.  I cry when I think of people who are destitute.  And I cry as I am spurred to do something tangible for these people.

Pictures of the Great Depression:

Pictures of current situations:

But this blog today is about poor.  About the perception of poor.  About really being poor.  And I have to confess, I really don’t know.  Not personally.  What I know is only because my mother was poor at one point in her life.  But that point in her life made a dramatic impression for all of her life, and she passed those impressions down to her children.Grandma Madeline and Mom 1925

That is Mom around 1925, maybe a year or two later.  She was born in 1920 and doesn’t look too old here.  Although the official date of the Great Depression is 1929, Mom’s family was already poor.  The ensuing years were to bring even harder times.  And those times are why she and her sisters and so many others who went through these poor times did so many of the very frugal things they did long after they were established in nice homes with good incomes and money in the bank: saving and reusing the wax paper from cereal boxes; only running enough water for the task; making their own clothes; growing big gardens and canning; hanging clothes on a clothesline with a clothes dryer sitting in the utility room.  That’s just a few.

And the older Mom got, the more she worried about having enough money to be able to take care of herself, so she wouldn’t turn on the lights till she absolutely had to and kept the heat down low and the air conditioner blowing warm air.  She would sit in her thin gown with her leg thrown over the chair arm in the 90+ heat while we who were taking care of her tried to cook and clean.  We finally rebelled and made her wear clothes as we turned the AC to a cooler setting.  Water was used sparingly.  Fans and air conditioners were turned off at night.  Food was bought on an as-needed basis with very little kept in the cabinets or the freezer.

And she would say “Poor people have poor ways.”  So even though I am not rich, neither am I poor although my upbringing has trained me to think that I am.

Which is why I love reward cards.  Which is why I shop where I get a little extra for my money (I love getting that 10 cents to a dollar off my gas at Kroger).  Which is why I use coupons.  Which is why I love Shutterfly (I have gotten so many cool free items from there).  Which is why I bring my loyalty card to be punched at CurleQ when I get hair cuts or buy merchandise.

No, I don’t need to use coupons or the reward cards.  But it is nice to be rewarded for my spending money at a certain place of business or being loyal to a certain business.  Even though I realize and understand those businesses are keeping close track of everything I purchase with that reward card, I don’t mind.

They just send me more appropriate coupons.

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Scooter Scandal

Kate on scooter

She flies as fast as it will go.  If it had a pedal, it would be on the metal.  I have a real premonition that she is going to take after her Gigi and her momma.  Kate has already received her first ticket from one of our observant and kind and considerate police officers  (which I must thank for doing such a good job) as  she was scooting around on the mall, being her nosy little  self.

Kate and ticket

The defendant looks like she’s been in the pokey all night!

Isn’t there some saying about being nosy getting one into trouble?!!!

Oh, To Get It Right

From my Mom

From my Mom

This card was from my Mom at the party in 1981 or 1983.  I don’t know when it was.  I’ve tried to figure it out, and right when I think I have, I post a card from B. O. and Jane Young that says June of 1983.

Which explains the gist of most of the cards and letters:  I love you, you dork.

Which is also pretty much the gist of my life today:  I am a dork.

But my Momma loved me, and did right up to the day she left for Heaven.  I would imagine she still does.oh if I

This card is especially precious because of my Mom’s handwriting.  As we walk through life, or run, we have no idea how we will miss those little things like handwriting, a voice, a chuckle.

Here is another one of my cherished gifts from that day:  a long-ago picture of some neighborhood kids.

Jamie, me, and Terry

Jamie, me, and Terry

A lot of us had horses or ponies in those days.  We all played and played together: sledding down the big hills in the snowy winter, pretend ice skating with our boots in the freezing weeks, riding ponies and bikes in the hot summer, playing in the water hose or in the rain.  Gail tells it well:

Gail's letter

Gail’s letter

Gail's letter back

Gail’s letter back

Oh, the times we had as children!  Wonderful, imaginative, exciting times!

There were more letters from my Acteens youth girls and my Sunday School class, sweet letters from sweet girls who became good, sweet women, mothers, teachers of their own Sunday School classes, employees.

A time capsule of sorts.  One that I hope you have enjoyed opening.

My Momma, the Amazing Foodie

My mom was a great cook. She cooked for a hungry husband, an even hungrier boy, a pudgy very healthy girl, and another skinny little unhealthy girl.  They were good, stick-to-your-ribs and thighs and butt meals.  Meals like this one I made tonight.

goulash

goulash

She never made things like this salad I made the other night.IMG_7957And she never would have used the “china” that I used for the salad.  She had two dishwashers:  Darla and me.  She could get all kinds of dishes dirty.

dirty dishes

dirty dishes

If it was my turn to wash, I diligently washed all those dirty dishes — just like you see above — and after rinsing a couple of plates, Darla had to go to the “bathroom.”  She would use the “bathroom” until the dishes were all clean and piled in her sink to rinse.  Only they never got rinsed — because Darla was in the “bathroom” — until Mom came in the kitchen and got all over me for not rinsing them since Darla had to go to the “bathroom.”  Of course, Dar only was finished using the “bathroom” after I got all the dishes washed and rinsed.

That’s probably why I use paper china quite often now.

But I digress.  The reason for this blog tonight is not to tell you how good a cook Mom was or how many dishes Dar bathroomed out of doing, but the fact that Mom could cook without leftovers.  She didn’t like leftovers, so she could cook for all these starving stomachs and have nothing left over and fill us full to bursting.

But even that wasn’t the greatest feat.  If we did on the rare occasion have food left over, she would get out the just-right container for them.  Never too big.  Never too small.

And now I have accomplished what I have heretofore been unable to do:  Get the just right container for the leftovers.

Here is the proof!

perfect fit

perfect fit

Ah, the leftover food fantasy has become remaining food reality!

Goat Girl

As a youngster growing up on the hill — well, in my case halfway up the hill — I was the youngest of the group.

 Of course, I’m not counting the non-people:  my little sister and her friend, Nancy.

Nancy and Darla with their babies

Nancy and Darla with their babies

 At the time I thought they were ridiculous: everywhere they went carrying their baby dolls with their diaper bags thrown over their shoulders; spending hours on end playing with Barbie dolls; pretending to be the Beatles.  Actually, that’s one of my best memories now.  One of them would stand on the bed and sing and play the guitar, eyes closed, head shaking.  The other one would stand at the end of the bed screaming like a fool, grabbing their hair, then eventually passing out in the floor.  I used to stand in the hallway and watch them.

I was, of course, so superior to those goofballs.

On the other hand, my friends were cool and exotic.  They rode horses and had goats .  Well, Gail had  goats.

Gail and her goat

Gail and her goat

This picture was taken back in 1960 when our little town was having a celebration for our sesquicentennial year.  There were parades and all sorts of activities.  Gail and her goat won first place.

Her love of goats began with the Goat Man who came to town about once a year back then.  Today he can be found on the internet.  I googled “goat man” and got all sorts of interesting information.

the goat man

the goat man

I’m hoping Gail doesn’t decide to get herself a passel of goats in her later years.

My Momma

This is my Momma with her first husband back around 1940.

She was a looker!!  But so was he.  She was about 20 or so.  Young and naive.  Mom said he could dance!  And apparently he liked to dance with lots of women because Mom and he weren’t married very long before he started looking for new dance partners.  They had a daughter together, my older sister.

Momma didn’t like to talk too much about her life really.  And I’ve learned that a lot of people from that era don’t.  Just let it go, I guess.  They were too busy trying to live life to hang on to memories.

And this is my momma with her second husband, my dad.  Personally, I think my momma could really pick ’em… at least in looks.

This picture was in 1952.  My older sister, Tish, is sitting on the arm of the chair and Mom on the other holding the cutest baby ever lived.  I was told I had the colic, though, and was just not a happy baby for a few months.  Not until they started feeding me that Karo syrup concoction.  I think it was with Milnot.  Can’t remember now just what Mom told me it was made from, but I blame that on my desire for sweets now.

On Dad’s lap is my older brother, Benny, who just had a birthday this past week.  This is Ben at his party.

Since this has already been posted to the infamous Facebook and since he has already called me and told me no more picture-taking at his house, I assumed I must get the most out of the pics I have already taken.  Therefore, the obligatory picture post here.  Yes, life is good.  Some people say Ben looks like Dad and others say he looks like Mom.  Genes.  Hmmmm  He acts like Mom for sure!!!

The pics on the little end table are of my cousins:  Jerry on the top who died in a motorcycle accident, Uncle Clifford’s only child; my sis on the second shelf; Ronnie on the bottom, the son of Aunt Louise.  They were all three the first-born of the siblings.

I’m loving swimming around in this gene pool of pictures.  Hope you are at least enjoying it as well.

 

Pool of Genes

Over the years I’ve done a bit of genealogy.  It’s interesting.  Kind of fun to find out where your gene pool is from and what those genes acquired or lost or survived and when and how they died and who they became throughout the eras of life.

At this point you can decide to get in the scuba gear and dive in or just sit on the edge and casually peer into the clear, murky, fun, scary, pool of genes.  They came from Scotland and England.  Some could write; others used an X for their names.  Some turned out just fine; some didn’t.  None of them made a big splash in the money pool or the going-down-in-history pool, but nevertheless their ripples continue on down the centuries.

Logsdon siblings

This is my mom and her sisters and brother.  The time period is around the early 1930s would be my guess.  My mom, the girl on the far left, was born in 1920.  She doesn’t look very old here, so I’m guessing at the year.

From the left on the front row is Amy Anita, 1920, Emma Christina, 1906,  Minnie Alleen, 1912; the back row is Mary Louise, 1914, and John Clifford, 1908.

As a child, I grew up knowing these aunts and uncles and their children.  I stayed with each of them at some point or another, maybe a day at a time or a week at a time.

And I loved them all dearly.

 

Nostalgia

My parents ran a grocery store all the years I was growing up and finally retired after the grandchildren started coming along.  My older brother and sister along with my younger sister and I lived in that store almost as much as we lived at our home.  We were either sneaking candy or cigarettes or stocking shelves or slicing cold cuts or shinnying up the metal poles out front or running the cash register and sacking groceries or cleaning, always cleaning.  Sometimes we went with Dad to deliver the groceries to people around town.

A sweet friend brought me a piece of the store the other day in the form of a fan.  Of course, way back in the 50s people were just beginning to buy air conditioners, so there were a lot of fans around.  Most businesses had them made to give away.

Like this one:A lot of fans as well as calendars for businesses had a religious theme with their information about their business printed somewhere on it.This took me down the Nostalgic Pathway!  Those were good, good days.

 

 

Back when I was young…

Tonight at book club the old farts, well, older farts, got to recollecting about way back when.  Our book for the month was “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett (although a member of the club did call her Kathryn Stunkett).  And that member should take note that I did not burst out laughing even though I wanted to really badly.  Just smiled great big.  Everybody probably thought I was immensely enjoying the discussion… which I was.  Ms. Stunkett wrote about the plight of the black maids in Mississippi during the 1950’s and 1960’s.  Actually, it was more about the interactions between the women, black and white, during that time as well as the fight for and against segregation.

But, as in all books, there are a lot of other little tidbits that one can glean knowledge about or that brings back a memory.  In our case tonight, we were remembering when the zip codes first began to be used on letters, how we could just write the name and the town and the addressee would receive the mail, and the fact that people didn’t want to have to use the zip codes.  Now, of course, it’s second nature to slap it on there.

Then there were the telephone party lines.  That brought back some memories and stories!  Here’s a link to walk you down that memory road as well:  telephone party line

Some of us remembered when Medgar Evers was shot and killed for trying to make things better for African Americans in Mississippi, and we remembered Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as he did the same, and was killed for it as well.  And today we have a President, whether you  agree with his politics or not, that brings justice to those senseless deaths.

How the world changes!!!  I’m just trying to hang on by a string!

Summer Festivals

sliding down the BIG slide

In June our little town has a festival, as do most little towns.  It’s a time to bring the kiddos out for some fun and adventure; a time to sit on the bandstand and talk to people we haven’t seen in a while, maybe since the last summer’s festival; a time to stuff ourselves with corn dogs, barbecues, cotton candy, funnel cakes, and anything else that strikes our fancy.  And a time to take home that summer taffy.

winning the prize

It’s a time for kids to run around until they’re all hot and sweaty… and cranky.  And ride awesome, fun, scary rides they don’t get but once or twice a year.  It’s a time like no other.

hot and sweaty

I can still remember how much fun it was when I was young to go to the carnival.  It was a lot different then that it is today.  We now have the watered down or G rated version.  Back a lot of moons ago we had the R rated version, and that was only because we weren’t allowed in the stripper tents.

hootchy-kootchy girls

The men (and women?) were the ones who got to choose if they wanted the X rated version.

The carnival today only uses one of the three squares of “mall” in town.  When I was young, two of the squares were jam packed with rides, sideshows, food booths, games, and banked on either end as though competing for business, the stripper tents.  One was on the south end of the parking mall and the other was on the north end of the bandstand mall.  At least that’s the way I remember it, but there may have been only one.  The women, clad in loose robes or other “loose” attire, would come out and walk around on a narrow stage before a crowd of men as the barker enticed the men to spend their money to come inside and see the real deal.  As I recall, some lucky man would be picked to go in free, and soon several men were lining up to go in the tent.  Of course, anybody passing could stop and watch as the women strutted about the stage… it was at the tent door the people were allowed in or culled to stay out.

There were sideshows of questionable nature as well.  A dime would get a child in to see all sorts of weird anomalies, human and animal.  The one I was most curious about was the hermaphrodite.  Of course, there was an age limit on who was allowed in, and I was way too small, but I questioned everybody that went in on what they saw.

I don’t remember when the town quit allowing the stripper tents and the sideshows to come in as part of the carnival.  And I’m not sure if that fact has anything to do with the size of the carnival, at least half of what it once was.  I just know for certain it was a magical and wicked week out of the year.