1002 Maple Street . Murray, IA 50074 . 641-447-2919
Grandma Perry ‘s Blog
12/20/12: When we girls were closing my parents’ home after their passing, my doll resurfaced in worse shape than I remembered. Her soft cloth body was stained and brown with age, unclothed, with only one leg and no arms. Her face was cracked and her painted eyes and lips were void of color. But I recognized the face I had memorized from countless hours of time we had shared. I debated if she was worth taking home, but dropped her in my box anyway. It was my daughter that rescued her and went to work repairing my worn out doll. She made her a new leg, two new arms, and a long blue dress with matching bonnet to detract from her cracked face. Then she sat her in a little chair as if she could watch the comings and goings of our family. When I passed her, I thought of how we had aged together. Both of us came new and pristine and then wear and tear started to take its toll. Mixed with neglect, the years slipped by. I, too, am old, tattered, winkled with cracks, and have a few brown spots. The good news is that I still have two legs, two arms, and am wearing clothes. Skilled professionals have given me hearing aids, new dentures, cataract surgery, and make me a weekly cotton candy hairdo from my thinning white hair. Like my doll, I am content to sit in my chair and watch the comings and goings of my family.
“There’s still life in something old and patched.”
12/17/12: My mother was a recycler long before it was fashionable; not because it was environmentally sound, but because it was a necessity. Her creativity magically created Christmas in our home. She pruned the bottom branches from our farm’s large pine trees and tied them together to fashion a Christmas tree. She made ornaments by fluting the edges of tin can lids and gluing medallions of old Christmas card pictures in the centers. She saved coffee can tin strips that had been keyed off when the container was opened and pulled the twisted tin into ice sickles for hanging. We had no electricity, so strings of lights were unknown to us. Instead, Mother clipped on little candles in holders that remained unlit for fear of starting a fire. We children helped string popcorn and cranberries into garland and carefully hung the precious small flat box of store bought tinsel. It was a time of tradition, companionship, and exciting anticipation. Our house was filled with love and good warm feelings. I wish this for all of you. Merry Christmas!
“Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.”
12/12/12: The orchard was one of our favorite places to play. We tied ropes from tree to tree and hung Mother’s oldest quilts on them to create imaginative houses. The leafy canopy was our roof and the tall unmowed grass was our thick carpet. Afternoons passed with doll tea parties and visiting each other in our adjoining quilt houses. Not particularly fond of my doll, I frequently left her to fend for herself when I went to the house. One night the inevitable happened and it rained and rained. A few days later, I found my abandoned doll in sad shape with a dirty dress and cracked face. Her head was made from a composite material that had not faired well in the down pour. Secretly, I happily thought this was the perfect opportunity to ask for a new doll, only fancier. My parents somberly reminded me that there was a depression going on and the family had more important needs. I had to continue to play with my cracked and tattered doll and eventually grew to be grateful for what I had been given. Even though I’m now 93, I still wake up during a rain storm and wonder if I’ve forgotten something outside.
“Be grateful for what you’ve been given.”
12/5/12: When Christmas was upon us, we children would spend the evening drooling over the latest toys in the Sears and Roebuck Catalog. I was four and wished for a doll, as did my older sister. She was school age and could read, so I relied on her to decipher the written description under each picture. She pointed to one and said, “Oh Marjorie, this one is perfect for you.” She wrote my name next to it and marked another one for herself, then strategically left the catalog opened to the page for Santa to find. On Christmas morning, I unwrapped my gift and to my delight, there laid the very doll my sister had helped me pick out. It was a sleeping baby with a molded head and molded hair and soft cloth body. When my sister unwrapped her gift, she, too, was given the doll of her choice. It was twice as big with real hair in curled locks and glass eyes that opened and shut. Her doll wore a fancy dress with little shoes and ribbon in her hair. It was at that moment that I realized the importance of an education and became highly motivated to learn to read. I have strived to be an informed consumer ever since.
“Reading is your education of choice.”
11/20/12: I was born in 1919 on a farm near Farragut, Iowa. In those days, our farm was surrounded by dirt roads and we traveled in a Ford Model A. We didn’t get to go very far. On Sundays, we looked forward to going to my Grandmother’s house 10 miles away. If we kids were lucky, our cousins would also come. Many times our plans were dashed by rainy weather. The clouds would roll in and the rain poured down. Drop by drop, the dirt roads turned to mud and we were stuck. The little girl that I was would take my disappointment out on our side porch and sing over and over. “Rain, rain, go away, come again another day!” The lesson of accepting the way things are has served me well.
“You can never have too many rain bonnets.”
“There’s still life in something old and patched.”
Words of Wisdom
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