This week I must devote entirely to several speaking chores. So I thought you would enjoy viewing the introductions to my presentations. Here they are in their approximate final draft. Enjoy!
Managing Your Money
About sixty years ago, two sharecroppers laid their baby boy in a box that was really a dresser drawer, his first cradle. Nursed and blanketed carefully, he was as secure and warm in that box as in the finest crib.
They pumped all water by hand and heated it on a kitchen stove. Dishwater never went to waste. Once that water was hot, it did dishes, the stove, the countertops, the cabinet fronts, the tabletop, the chairs, and last, but not least, it did the floor.
Bathing happened once a week with “washing up” in cold water for other days.
Clothing, being almost all homemade, was divided and washed by use: undies, being all whites, went first, while the water was hot, with colored clothing next, followed by jeans and work clothing, all washed in the same water. Making soap, heating water, and hauling it away took too much time to waste a drop, so when all was done, the water proceeded to the garden, via siphon hose.
The soap was real, homemade, back then and not toxic.
And all had to dry on a line.
The baby boy grew and acquired a little sister. The two children played in the dirt at one end of the rows in a huge bean field, while the dad and mom walked the fields, pulling weeds for their living.
In time, their finances improved and they bought a farm. Almost all food for the next forty years came from the garden. Most was canned or pickled. Seldom was anything thrown away. Scraps went to the chickens. Children who did not like the food offered at the table still had to eat it. And no one got dessert until the plate was clean. The children grew up adaptable to almost any food.
Meanwhile, a city girl grew up only a bit more affluent, dressed in home-made clothing that was washed all in the same water and hung to dry. Climbing trees and building cities in the dust under them, she also had to clean her plate, no matter what, and it was garden food. Scraps went to her chickens, too.
Both families owned only one car, one small black and white T.V., and no computers. Both families mowed their own lawns with reel type mowers. The girls in both families went to bed in curlers and there was no hair dryer in either home, no beater bars on the vacuums, and no A.C.
When visitors came, someone slept on the floor. Soda pop happened once or twice a year.
The children grew up and wanted brand new store-bought clothing, so they got jobs and bought them. Only–the girls did the math and often bought patterns and fabric, instead.
When they went to college, the boy and the girl each recognized something about the other; he, her homemade clothing, and she, his homemade chessboard. They married and made two decisions:
- Mom would stay home, and,
- Everything would be homemade.
It was a simple step to move to home schooling.
That was about 28 years ago, and the little tree-climbing girl stands before you today to say:
It can be done. Go there.