Some items of the past aren’t forgotten

Published 2:54 pm Wednesday, July 11, 2007

By Staff
Do you ever think about words and objects we no longer hear about or use?
Take the word housecoat. My mother would shower, put on her undergarments and then wear a housecoat as she puttered around making breakfast and cleaning in the morning.
She had a whole selection of housecoats, most were in bright colors or prints with short sleeves and a small collar. They snapped down the front.
When I was thinking about this as a column idea I was going to say I haven't seen one worn in a very long time. Then, this morning driving on my way to work, I saw a lady come out to get her morning paper wearing a housecoat.
My mom also had a selection of aprons, which she used religiously. Though I didn't keep any of her housecoasts, I have a few dozen aprons of all colors, styles and fabrics.
Many of these aprons were made by her or her great-aunts. Some are so delicate and sheer you can't imagine anyone would want to soil them, or how they could work to keep you own clothes underneath clean.
I learned to embroider on aprons and pillow cases. I would work for weeks just to finish one and then have to do the matching one.
When I grew up I purchased a sewing machine which could embroider much quicker.
The pillowcases which my relatives once added crochet to the edge have fallen apart due to constant washing. Now pieces which are in good condition are treasured.
There was something so soothing about sitting and stitching, I miss it.
Something which was once common place on our dinner tables is also rarely seen – serving dishes.
Along with the many pieces to match the china, I had lots of silverplate bowls and platters on which to serve the food.
A fully set table with all the pieces of silverware, dinner plate, bread plate and cloth napkins is also rare today.
Often we eat out of the microwave container the food came in, grabbing just a fork from the silverware drawer.
I am a throw back as I won't give up using cloth napkins. My friend thinks it is cute and she buys me more at garage sales, often selling for just a dollar for four.
I also have a washstand. Years ago, the piece of furniture was to hold a basin and pitcher of water for washing. Though I use it for fresh flowers, my son gave me a reproduction of the old time pitcher and bowl.
I also have lots and lots of dollies. There is a word you don't hear very often anymore.
I hated them when I was growing up as my mother insisted they stay on every piece of my maple bedroom set.
It took me years to get over the hate and now I really think they are rather attractive.
There are many things from the past which young people are just beginning to appreciate, as they travel through antique malls and see the prices on these items which long ago cost so little.
Unfortunately, our garage and basements are filled with things which we are afraid to part with for fear they too are valuable.