Monday, May 8, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

Maybe it is because I am getting older, or perhaps it is because of posts I see on Facebook where one can see historical images, but my post today for the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop now generated by the Josie Two Shoes site is a product of my thoughts from my past and the present.

1. When I was approaching my teens, my mother bought me a pair of nylon hose to wear when I went to church. I hadn't even considered wearing hose at that point. (The girls at that time were wearing bobby socks with white suede shoes to school and leather or patent leather flats to Sunday School.) 

Unlike the pantyhose available at the stores now, which may snag and create a fairly small hole, the nylon hose that were available when I first started wearing them would create a run down the nylon if snagged. In addition, a girl needed to make sure that the seam was straight up the back of the leg. The hose came half way up the thigh so a garter belt was needed to keep them up. The hose came in many more sizes then, but after they began making hose that were stretchy, there was no seam up the back. I am thankful for the advancements in fabrics, improved designs and ease of wearing (for the most part).

2. No one needs to be reminded that people need to take care that they don't stink. (Now I do not mean to cause anyone to feel offended, because I do know that there are many people in this world who lack the means to obtain even the bare necessities in life, and may lack a way to stay clean and free of offensive odors.) I'm sure that there came a time when my mother realized after being around me when I was in my pre-teens that it was time to introduce me to Mum deodorant, which was sold as a cream in a jar and applied with one's fingertips. A few years later I was able to buy roll-on deodorants which had became available. I am thankful for deodorants and antiperspirants that can be purchased  unscented or scented and are available in stick form as well as in the earlier forms of application. 

Note: Many people are very sensitive to scents, and when they are in a room with a lot of people who have used scented soaps, shampoos, lotions, antiperspirants, scented laundry soaps, perfumes, etc., it can be overpowering. They become limited in where they can go, without feeling sick because of the overpowering combinations of scents.

3. One of the first sets of dishes I remember my parents buying, was a set of Melmac or possibly Melamine, probably because our other dishes had gotten broken from children dropping them. I am still thankful for dishes that are available that are not easily broken. There is definitely a time and a place for their use, although now buyers must also pay attention to unbreakable brands that are safe for use in microwaves and in  dishwashers.

4. Between the ages of three and seven I lived on a farm in the country. We didn't have an indoor toilet. The outhouse was a ways from the house, for obvious reasons, and a pot was set in the hall for use at night. I remember my mother carrying a bucket of lye water out to the outhouse to clean it and telling me to stay away when she was doing this task. There was always the warning to watch out for black widow spiders in the outhouse. Needless to say, when we moved to another state and had a house with an indoor toilet, all of us were very excited. Having the convenience such as an indoor toilet is something for which I am very thankful, which I am aware that not everyone in the world is as fortunate, and many also do not have running water.

5. Attending grade school for me required bringing my own school supplies, although the list was much shorter back in the 1950's. One of the items we needed to get was a cigar box to hold our supplies. Later on school boxes of similar shape with cute designs on them were available for purchase, but I started school with the real deal. School paste was one of the supplies that we purchased to put in the cigar box. I wasn't one who enjoyed using the paste, or eating it as some younger kids were prone to do. Adhesives have come a long ways over the years, for which I am very grateful. There is such an assortment of products now.

6. Although phone service was available in many towns during my early years, we didn't have phone lines that came out as far as our farm until I was about four or five. It was pretty exciting for me to be able to talk to my Grandma on the phone when she called soon after we got the phone. I'm sure it was a long distance call for her even though she only lived about 10 miles away. Having a phone made it so much easier to respond to emergencies. I am thankful for the many ways we can speedily communicate with people all over the world now.

7. When I was between five and seven years old, a young boy  living across the street from my paternal grandparents was stricken with  polio. He suffered from paralysis and had to be in an iron lung. He was not allowed to have visitors. The fear of being exposed to the polio virus was extremely great. Dr. Jonas Salk's polio vaccine was deemed safe and effective in April 1955, so sometime after the seventh grade I received my first polio vaccine. I am thankful for the discovery of the vaccine and that I was able to receive it when I did. There are so many people doing research to discover ways to prevent other deadly diseases, and I appreciate their research and dedication.

8. With the availability of books in public libraries and in school libraries now, one might be surprised by the fact that a two-room country school that I attended in the 1950's was first able to get some books in 1953 from a library (whether city or state, I do not know). These books were put on a two-shelf rolling cart. We were able to check out one book to read and then write a book report. I selected a book about John Paul Jones. I am thankful for the many sources of reading materials now for children and adults. Many books have been digitized and are available online. Click here to see one source.

9. One of the ways children enlarged their understanding of people living in other countries was by writing to a pen pal. I wrote to a girl in Sheffield, England, to a girl in Ireland, and to a boy in Kyoto, Japan. We also exchanged photos of ourselves and wrote about our schools and everyday life. Sometimes we sent post cards and we also enjoyed seeing the postage stamps on the cards and envelops. I am thankful for the opportunities I had to expand my world a bit and learn how others lived. It is my hope that children all over the world will want to become friends with those in other nations and help overcome the prejudices and misunderstandings that exist among some people.

10. I am thankful for the experiences I have had in life and for those early childhood memories my husband has shared with me. It has been interesting to compare them, and also to consider how our own way through life differs from the experiences of our children and grandchildren.

This life is short. May we each make the best of our journey and share some of those experiences with our posterity. 

What a great day to just look at the sky!

Be sure to take a break though and read the posts of others at Ten Things of Thankful.


  1. I loved this list! For all the progress in the world, I have to say that this list sounds pretty wonderful to me. I think I must have been about ten years after you, but many of the things on the list brought me such happy memories. My elementary school library was my favorite place in the building. And I remember jars of paste that a plastic strip attached to the center of the lid. That strip hung down to be used to dip into the paste and wipe across the construction paper as an applicator. And for the life of me I never did understand the appeal of eating that stuff!

    1. I'd forgotten about that plastic strip attached to the center of the paste jar lid. I never understood the appeal of the taste of paste either, but then again I never tried it. :-)

  2. Being in the same age group as you, this was a wonderful walk down memory lane for me, Pat! I could identify with every item on the list! I remember those early nylons and garter belts... what a nuisance, and the first deodorant required by gym class. Many of my rural friends had outhouses growing up, as did the small cabin my parents had at a lake. We thought it quite an adventure, except in winter when it was really cold!! We got our cigar boxes for school from the drugstore, they saved them all year for students, and our first library cart resembled yours, though our school was fairly large and eventually a small library was created on the fourth floor. I fell in love with it and read voraciously! My mom's dishes were also Melamine, she got them by saving points or some such at the grocery store, piece by piece. I hadn't thought about them in years. I can recall the entire community lining up to receive the polio vaccine in sugar cubes, yes indeed what a blessing that discovery was! I often think about how our blog friends are in many ways the penpals of the computer age, and the friendships we form do so much to promote understanding and acceptance of those different from us! I do almost all my reading with the Kindle app now, so much easier on the eyes and hands, and there is always a book or two in my phone if I get stuck waiting somewhere!

    What I really loved about this post was the awareness you added to each item, how blessed we are with the modern things and conveniences we have that we tend to take for granted, and the reminder that this is not true for so many.

    I also want to thank you personally for the reminder about scent overload for people with allergies! I am one of these, fragrances of any kind give me terrible headaches, irritated eyes and a sore throat, many group functions/events I have attended have been ruined for me because I soon found myself unable to breathe in the presence of people nearby who were wearing perfumes, aftershaves, scented hairspray, or even strongly scented deodorants. I tend to avoid such functions now. I realize that the wearers have no idea or intent that their choices are resulting in a problem for me, my only plea is to use all scents lightly. I especially feel sorry for people who may not be able to articulate that scents are bothering them, or may be unable to avoid them, such as with nursing home staff. Sadly, I've found this is a very sensitive subject no matter how carefully you approach it. I love many scents, including flowers, sadly, they make me sick!

    1. Thanks for the reminder that the drugstores, and probably other stores saved the empty cigar boxes throughout the year. I remember licking green stamps and putting into the little booklets. So many items could be obtained through redeeming a certain amount of books. I love your comment about blogging friends being like the pen pals of the past. The Kindle and the iPad which allows for enlarging the print makes it so much easier to read. I enjoy reading my scriptures on the iPad partly for the fact I can use a larger print, partly it is lighter to hold, and partly because turning the pages in books is harder to do now. You are so right about people not realizing, and also forgetting that others suffer so much from the many scents in the air. I suppose it is like so many things where unless you personally, or people you know, have suffered from something, you don't realize how hard it might be. Yes, it is a very sensitive subject to discuss.

  3. I promise I'm not being fresh when I say these things are ahead of my time, but I am thankful to be familiar with all of them. Knowledge is a powerful thing and I am so glad for all the stories my parents and grandparents and great grandparents have told me over the course of my life. I am thankful for the ability to read and learn so that I might know of these things at least secondhand.
    There are many great things on this list - what a great idea for a post!

    1. Lisa, I am glad you enjoyed my list. I love learning and relearning about the past.

  4. What an incredible post, filled with memories and gratitude for progress. I remember those stockings, the seams predate me a bit, but I remember the garters. The nylons were never long enough for me. I was so happy when pantyhose were invented, and now, thankfully, I wear slacks most often or go au natural with a little bit of leg make up. My mom used Five Day Pad deodorant. I can't really remember my first experience with it. (But I do wear unscented Dove now). You've given me lots of things to think about and be grateful for today, Pat. I'm so glad I stopped back to read your post.

    1. Val, thanks for stopping by to read my post. Pantyhose were a great improvement, and a lot quicker to put on.