Busy. Another post tomorrow, God willing.
Llew, I didn’t want to interrupt the rather heady (in a good sense!) exchange with Pooka on your next post. What I have to say would have been particularly banal and a definite lowering of the tone, but I remember my mother saying what a thrill it was in going to the cinema on Saturdays. I know you missed out and that my mother grew up in the US, but she said it was absolutely fantastic. Apparently, she, her siblings and friends could hardly wait until they got their money for admission and a box of (purely American) Cracker Jack (sugar-glazed popcorn with a few peanuts). Each box had a prize and a little joke inside.
During the Depression this was big stuff (a real release from the pressures of home and school) for kids, especially when meat was at a premium (roast chicken on Sunday only) and summer holiday lunches might have consisted of sliced tomato on bread slathered with butter and/or mayonnaise, whatever was available. But there were upsides, too, such as picking berries at my grandparents’ modest summer cottage. Grandpa used to drive Grandma and their children (i.e. my mom and her brothers and sisters) there to spend the week where they learned how to row boats, relax, laugh and just … be children!
My mom and her brothers and sisters were happy as Larry, especially when cousins or neighbours came to visit. But, then, they all had Christian faith. So different to today.
A delightful picture, Churchmouse: memories of home, of the security of traditional routines and the human scale of daily events and ritual treats (popcorn with a prize). If I may add a memory of my own. My grandma introduced me to bread and dripping spread with sugar, rather than the more usual salt and pepper. This post would probably qualify for two health warnings in today’s climate. Oh dear, if I may indulge in another memory, perhaps it was a reflection on the relatively more austere times but if I asked her what was for dinner she would say ‘bread and pull it’ – an ironic play on the word ‘pullet’, a young chicken which was not on offer.
Bread and dripping with sugar — dentist’s delight! 😉
Seems like the Depression and Second World War generations are the last in the West to have known real want. Amazing how everyone pulled through, but then families were strong, as was the work ethic, not to mention the Church (at least in the US). You knew where you stood and such outmoded concepts such as loyalty, integrity and civility were much prized and encouraged. I cannot honestly remember, outside of the mousehole, when I last heard those three words.
Yes, there definitely was the ‘security of traditional routines’, that semblance of order even when things didn’t quite go to plan. Kids need that type of thing. So do adults, but that’s another subject … A flexible order helps to guide our paths brilliantly.
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