View from Hickory Heights: Trip down memory lane

Last week my son and daughter-in-law brought me a box of old magazines. They told me about them first, then brought them up for me to go through. They were something that was missed when the homestead had been cleaned out.

My mother-in-law and I both subscribed to a magazine called “Workbasket”. It was published monthly. Years ago, I went through my copies and got rid of what I did not want. These magazines were from before I subscribed for the most part.

Surprisingly, the patterns were not out of date. There were baby sets and mittens that could still be useful. Now, I do not crochet, but I do knit. Any thing that is crocheted I skip right over. I look at the knitted patterns to see what yarn is called for. If it is not knitting worsted, I will most likely skip over it as well. The lighter weight yarns take much longer to make. They also use much smaller needles.

It has been fun to go through these magazines. I especially paid attention to the advertisements. Things were a whole lot cheaper in those days. The magazine itself was sold for $1.50 per year with additional gifts offered at only $1 per year. I think maybe my mother-in-law gave me a subscription as a gift that first year. By the time I got further on in years, the magazine had gone up to $2 per year. I noted with interest that there was a companion magazine for men called “Workbench”. I do not think I ever saw that magazine.

Advertisements were in there from Mary Maxim, Herrschners, Michigan Bulb Co., Lee Ward, Walter Drake, and Lillian Vernon. All of those companies were familiar to me. Living in the country I frequently ordered things through the

mail. All of those big bulky sweaters that grandma made for Dorie’s children were pattern kits from May Maxim. Herrschners had kits for cross stitch, knitting, and needlepoint. Years ago, I entered a contest that was published in that magazine. It was to design a lesson plan to teach children how to do needlepoint. That year I had several girls in second grade who expressed interested in making something. I submitted my lesson plan and waited. It took a while but eventually I received a check for $100 as the first-place winner.

We were still working on Hickory Heights. I used my check to purchase lights. Since some of them were second-hand, I was able to get a light for the dining room (that matched the ones I had in my pantry), one for the living room, another for my mud room, and yet another for my bedroom. The bedroom light was purchased new.

The magazine also included recipes.

I looked through those as well, pulling out some I want to try. I have a stack of pages that I will go through again. I am always on the lookout for a good “new” recipe. I love to cook and bake.

I found some patterns for huck embroidery. That is a Swedish craft. I took my granddaughter to Swedish craft day and she tried it. I bought her a kit and I think she made a towel for her mother.

I also belonged to a craft group. I taught the ladies to do this type of embroidery. You do not go through the material but under the threads on the top of the material. I sent for my material since the local craft store did not have any.

One lady in particular did not like doing that craft and complained a lot. In the end she did a lot of it even making her own patterns. My grandmother had taught me how to do it when I was young. Grandpa often made her new patterns. I have a whole set of them for my couch and other dresser scarves I made. I still have some of the towels. They really have lasted well.

That magazine had everything. It even had ways to make money with your crafts. I copied some of those ideas and sold some of my creations. I noted that the issues prior to 1970 were thicker than those published in the 70s. I suppose inflation hit and postage went up so they cut back. Nevertheless, they were still useful.

I will share a recipe from the book. It is called “A Happy Home Recipe”.

4 c. of love

5 spoons of hope

2 c. of loyalty

2 spoons of tenderness

3 c. of forgiveness

4 quarts of faith

1 c. of friendship

1 barrel of laughter

Take love and loyalty, mix it thoroughly with faith. Blend it with tenderness, kindness, and understanding.

Add friendship and hope, sprinkle abundantly with laughter. Bake it with sunshine. Serve daily with generous helpings.

As you work on those Thanksgiving leftovers, give a thought to some of the things you used to do.

There has never been a shortage of things that I like to do to keep myself occupied at home.

Ann R. Swanson is a Russell resident.Send comments to hickoryheights1@verizon.net.


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