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Honored Contributor
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Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Our grandmas when we were kids

An article on facebook discussing how grandmas looked back in the day - mostly showed poor women in settlement camps during the depression. Well, I wasn't born until 1949 so I was growing up in the 50's and my grandma did not look at all like these women. She wore her hair stylishly and had wore pretty shirtwaist dresses around the house. She had makeup on every day. 

When Grandpa got home from work he would be dirty - esp. his hands but he would shower and put on clean trousers and a clean starched white shirt for dinner.  Us kids also had to be bathed and in clean clothes for dinner when we were at Grandma's house.

Prior to the depression my grandmother's family was pretty well off - not wealthy, but comfortable - and I think my grandma had certain standards.

BTW - when we were at home for dinner - my Mother worked full time so as long as we washed our hands that was enough. Mum didn't have time to be as particular as Grandma, despite that she had been raised with that standard.

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Re: Our grandmas when we were kids

I was raised by my grandma from the time I was 3 months old until I went to live with my older sister (single parent) and her 4 children.

 

My grandmother ran the show.  Her mother was full Cherokee Indian and live to be very, very (over 100) old.  I never met her that I remember.  My grandma taught me to always listen to what my body was telling me.  She taught me cures and things to do that were passed down to her.  My aunt lived with us.  She was never married and had real mental problems (depression, etc).  I mention this because she'd be taken away for awhile and then come back.  Through it all my grandma ran the show (as I said).  I respected her because she was always right in my eyes.  Back then (I'm 70) people had much more respect for old(er) people.  They respected the wisdom they'd learned throughout their lives.  I still do that to this day.  I always think, "What would grandma think or do".  it has helped me so many times throughout my life.  I hear her whispering in my ear.

 

Every holiday (Christmas, etc) and every season everything in our house would get changed (my Aunt was what would now be called OCD (Obsessive, Compulsive).  She was a clean freak, (i.e. no water drips in the sink, you name it).  But the house would look beautiful all of the time.  Grandma came between us when I felt like I couldn't take her cleanliness anymore.  She'd say, (not in these words) but something like, (to me), "Go do your thing.  She'll get over it".   

 

I only remember her as old and looking like a jolly, fat grandma.  I'd comb her long gray hair.  I remember getting the comb caught in it more than one time..She wore it in a bun on top of her head.  I only have one small picture of her and I keep it in my kitchen.  My niece is the only person living who knew her like I did.  She is a few years younger and my sister (her mother) would bring her over and grandma would take care of her.  We were raised more like sisters than Aunt and Niece.  She remembers a lot more than I do.

 

I think it's sad the way today people place so much importance on youth.  I think that's one of the reason there are so many problems in this country today.  We don't listen and learn (and respect) the authority of the older generation.  It used to be (like with me) Grandmas would be the one's who'd step up and take care of the children when no one else would.

 

It still happens (in some cities).  Washington, DC (near where I live) is an example of SOME grandmas taking over and raising the grandchildren.  The problem is there aren't nearly enough (for whatever reason) and that is a real problem.

 

I am a better person (as is my niece) because we were lucky enough to have a wonderful woman, a strong woman in our lives teaching us.  She taught us something more important than reading and writing.  She taught us to respect others and just because someone doesn't agree with us doesn't mean they are stupid, perhaps they were put in our path so we could learn from them.  Perhaps we needed a dose of humility.  I like to think I learned some of it.

 

I spend a lot of time with my 4 grandchildren.  My oldest daughter lives a few miles from me.  She is kind and respectful of me and I of her.  I don't go over her head for anything and go by her wishes.  Recently there was a movie I thought the children would enjoy (I take them often).  I thought it was PG13, didn't have anything objectionable in it.  She said it was R rated and didn't think they should go (they are very mature 14 and 13 girls.  She started to explain.  I stopped her and said, "Look!  They are your children.  You know what is best for them.  I totally agree with your decision.  You never have to explain why you decide to do something.  However, I am appreciative that you feel like you do", and I meant it and (more importantly) she KNEW I meant every word.

 

That's my idea of what being a modern grandma is.  I'm lucky that I'm comfortable financially.  I love sending them surprises in the mail (who doesn't like getting mail).  I just sent the two grandsons snowman blankets (ages 4 and 9).  My daughter said they were so excited.  That's the fun of being a grandma....that and buying the youngest McDonald's Happy Meals!  Ha!

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Re: Our grandmas when we were kids

I feel sad when I think about my grandma, because she missed out on so much. Today she would be called agoraphobic, but then she was just odd. Grandma was smart and had a dry sense of humor, and was a wonderful baker. However her life was ruled by fear. She was afraid to leave the house, of storms, the furnace, well you get it. If she were alive today, she could receive medication, and maybe live a full life. Things were not always better in the old days.

" You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts."
Daniel Patrick Moynihan
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Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Our grandmas when we were kids


@151949 wrote:

An article on facebook discussing how grandmas looked back in the day - mostly showed poor women in settlement camps during the depression. Well, I wasn't born until 1949 so I was growing up in the 50's and my grandma did not look at all like these women. She wore her hair stylishly and had wore pretty shirtwaist dresses around the house. She had makeup on every day. 

When Grandpa got home from work he would be dirty - esp. his hands but he would shower and put on clean trousers and a clean starched white shirt for dinner.  Us kids also had to be bathed and in clean clothes for dinner when we were at Grandma's house.

Prior to the depression my grandmother's family was pretty well off - not wealthy, but comfortable - and I think my grandma had certain standards.

BTW - when we were at home for dinner - my Mother worked full time so as long as we washed our hands that was enough. Mum didn't have time to be as particular as Grandma, despite that she had been raised with that standard.


**************************************

 

@151949

 

I'm thinking your grandmother was still pretty young if she dressed like that.  There had to have been a lot of grandmothers around in 1950 who were born in the late 1800s and who probably weren't wearing shirtwaist dresses.

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Re: Our grandmas when we were kids

My grandmother was born in 1898. When the Roaring 20's hit, she cut her hair super short, raised her hemlines and never looked back; she was always dressed fashionably.  The pictures I have of her and her younger sister.... WOW. Gorgeous women. Her daughters followed suit and so on. 

 

She was an amazing seamstress so ALL of their clothes were made by her or tailored by her for a custom fit. I learned early on that is the secret to looking great.

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Re: Our grandmas when we were kids

My paternal "grands" both died before I was born.  I never knew who my maternal grandfather was and he died also way before I was born . . . in fact when my mother was still a child.

 

I knew my mother's mother who was the wicked witch of the east and west and gave my mother a horrible life.  If I described it no one would believe it.

 

Missed out on that one.  Trying to be a good gram to my own grandchildren to make up for it.

 

Your stories are wonderful . . .

Formerly Ford1224
We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Elie Wiesel 1986
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Re: Our grandmas when we were kids

I’m a kid from the 50s. One Grandmother was a city woman, the other was pure country.

 

City Grandma was the one with whom we lived nearer, and I saw her very frequently.  In spite of that, I never felt close to her, and she made no attempt to be close with me. In fact, I had a disdain for her–she was, imho, a hateful woman.

 

Country Grandma, on the other hand, was a darling. She could cook on a cast iron wood burning stove like nobody’s business, could sew beautiful dresses on a Singer treadle machine and was not above plowing her field walking behind a horse. In spite of the outhouse she had, going to Country Grandma’s was a treat I looked forward to every Summer.

 

They’re both long gone now, and, in the cycle of life, it’s my turn to be the Grandma. I received a compliment a few weeks ago from our toddler granddaughter that still makes me glow warmly inside. She kissed me and, while hugging my neck, said, “I love you, Grandma. I like how you act.”  I hope that never changes.

Strive for respect instead of attention. It lasts longer.
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Re: Our grandmas when we were kids



 

I'm thinking your grandmother was still pretty young if she dressed like that.  There had to have been a lot of grandmothers around in 1950 who were born in the late 1800s and who probably weren't wearing shirtwaist dresses.


@Noel7My Grammie used to wear what was called house dresses back in the `1950's. I would set with her as she looked for the ones she wanted in the catalog

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Posts: 26,549
Registered: ‎12-17-2012

Re: Our grandmas when we were kids

My grandmothers were both poor.  One showed her love by cooking for you.  The other never showed love.  She was just there and we respected her in her house.  Both made their own clothes and quilts.  One worked her A off to cover expenses for household and the other depended on her husband and kids to work theirs off.

 

I loved them both.  I respected them because of their importance in the family.  I learned later in life that I would not have liked them if I'd known more about them, but my parents loved them and that's good enough.

 

I'm proud of what they went through, lived through, and gave to me and my cousins.  I hope they are, too!

Fate whispers to her, "You cannot withstand the storm." She whispers back, "I am the storm."

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Registered: ‎07-07-2010

Re: Our grandmas when we were kids

To me, my grandmother was the best.  She grew up very poor and started working in the fields after dropping out of school in the 3rd grade.  She and my grandfather married when she was 13 and he 15, and they had 10 children.  My grandfather died at age 52 and she never remarried.

 

I remember that she always wore a nice clean house dress and worked in her garden when she was not working at the local laundry.  She never learned to drive, but the grocery was just across the street and the laundry was in the same block.  She went to the hairdresser every Saturday morning and wore the same hairstyle her entire life.  Not a grey hair in her head.  I look very much like her except that I am much taller and have grey hair (or that is the color it might be--might actually be white) if I did not color it. 

 

When I was working my way through undergrad, I got her a pantsuit and from then on she would not wear dresses.  She loved for the two of us just to get in my car and ride.  I really miss that.

 

She did not look like the typical grandmother of today, but I think that if she were alive today, she and I would be traveling, cooking, and doing a lot of fun things.

The next time that I hear salt and ice together, it better be in a margarita!