Smile

imageNo, this is not a poster for toothpaste.  Or one for striped shirts or vintage wallpaper, although it could be all of those things.  It’s a Friday flashback to the 1950’s.

In which my mothers face says….

  • OMG I have two children, both dressed and with their hair combed!
  • Did I comb my own hair?  I can’t remember. I will smile BIG and no one will notice!
  • Please hurry up and press the shutter button so I can blink my burning eyes!

Of course I don’t know if she was thinking any of those things.  But she does look like a typical slightly frazzled mom, ready to jump up and get back to the million things she’s in the middle of doing.

The room was in our house, or my grandmas, or my aunts, or some other relatives;  I’m too small to remember any of it, or what is so fascinating somewhere up there on the ceiling.

I do remember how popular wainscotting was though.  Beautiful dark wood paneling half way up the walls.  I’m sure my grandma had it in her kitchen, so maybe that’s where we were.  But it was everywhere.  Perfect for banging your kitchen chairs or other furniture against without damaging the walls or wallpaper.  Not a great drawing surface for kids.

One of my mothers favourite qualities in any household item was its ability to “not show the dirt”.  Her choices for walls and floors and upholstery were firmly based on that.  She was aghast when my sister put champagne coloured carpet in her living/dining room.  It didn’t last long after their kids came along, but it was gorgeous when it was new.

And where has the house dress gone?  All the ladies I knew when I was growing up wore nothing but dresses for every occasion, covered up with an apron if they were doing something messy, to keep them nice.  They also covered up the good furniture with slip covers.  And put their out of season clothes in zipped up garment bags with moth balls.

We are influenced by the past, although I never once felt the urge to do housework in a dress.  I have a sort of faux wainscotting in my kitchen with dark paint on the bottom, light on the top, and a wallpaper border to separate them.  The spare room in the last house my parents owned was done up in green and white ivy wallpaper.  Maybe some things just never get old.  Although maybe they should.

Little kids in striped shirts with big smiles and a doting mom – that’s timeless.

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16 thoughts on “Smile

  1. Thank you for the nudge to thoughts of my own mother. Her dresses were washed in a wringer washer, hung to dry, sprinkled til damp and finally, ironed. No wonder ladies wore an apron to keep their dress fresh. My youthful chore was to iron the aprons, pillowcases and hankies. A very different time, eh? I enjoy the memories of your mother and childhood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! We had a wringer washer too, and always a loaded clothes line, even on sunny winter days. My mother taught me to iron, although it was never my favourite thing to do. Not a very useful skill anymore. 😊

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  2. I love the wood panelling. I also love all the expressions in this photo. Housework in a dress! I doubt many would dream of such a thing nowadays haha! 🙂 (although sometimes it catches up to me and I find myself having to lift the hem of a maxi dress and wrap it around my shoulders as I broom a floor…)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had a grandma who wore house dresses and an apron. I liked her warmth and sweet smelling house. Her gardens, canning and baking were fantastic. Her daughter, my Mom, was a career teacher who knew how to bake, make great pie crust but usually made pot pies or TV dinners. This was a precious photograph of a really warm and loving Mom. 🙂

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