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Friday, November 8, 2013

Then and Now. What I learned from my 2nd Gen Grandma

My Dad and I were reminiscing about my Grandma today after I watched him dump the crumbs out of a Ziploc to save it.
It was one of many habits I know for sure he picked up from my Grandma.

My Grandma was a 2nd generation Bohemian (Czech) that grew up north of my Dad's hometown. She was born in 1926, 3 years before the Stock Market crash that lead to the Great Depression.
She was 3 youngest of 7 children.
My Great Grandparents like many of the people in this area were Farmers. So my Grandma and her siblings were all hard workers.

When I was little I thought it was so bizarre to watch her save like a tablespoon of mashed potatoes in a Parkay container or wash out Ziploc bags or carefully fold up aluminum foil from dinner to reuse.
Once a week they would have a dinner of nothing but leftovers and that little tablespoon of potatoes would be on the table in its own special little dish.
Then she started telling me about growing up and how they saved everything that could be reused.
Also about how she only got new shoes for her birthday and one new dress a year. With 3 older sisters the rest of her clothes were hand-me-downs.
They even used all the parts of the animals they butchered. Everything from Head Cheese (OMG EW) to Ox tail soup.

My Grandpa had a story about one of his brothers when they were growing up trying to cook a Crow of all things. Apparently my Great Uncle did something wrong because the bird was beyond tough and all the fat and water that gathered in the bottom of the pan was BLACK.

One of my Grandpa's bowling buddies used to complain about how his wife saved leftovers in baby food jars.
One day he came to bowling bitching about how he found a jar with 3 peas in it. 3 peas!
He said to his wife "Queenie why in the hell did you save 3 frickin peas!"
Queenie "In case I decide to make soup!"
Bahahaha OMG 3 peas for soup!

Talking about that with my Dad today made me realize just how wasteful we are now compared to back then.
I mean like OMG wasteful.
I've been working on not throwing away so much and recycling more but it still seems to pale in comparison to how she was.

I am learning now as an adult that she taught some very valuable lessons in her stories that I can use now.
Especially as things get more expensive and money gets tighter.
Not only will it help our money but it will help our environment too!