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Join the Past Before it Disappears

September 13, 2011

     In just a few days our family will enter the 18th century.  Let me tell you, time travel is no easy task.  The inhabitants of the 18th century would be befuddled and bemused if we were to show up in our 21st century garb. 

     My children refuse to cooperate and remain the same size, so every time we attend a new event it calls for a complete family overhaul.  There are breeches for the boys, waistcoats and shirts.  Every respectable lady must have a dress with petticoat, chemise and modesty cloth.  And she mustn’t forget to cover her head.  What it means for mom is hours chained to the sewing machine.

     Years ago when I was still in elementary school my mom cut a pattern out of newspaper and I learned to sew a halter top, basically a triangle with strings at the points.  Today I am so grateful for the time she took to teach me this valuable skill.

     One of many wonderful things that you get to see at a historical reenactment is the crafts people.  Wonderful arts and skills that are rarely practiced today are being demonstrated for all to see.  There are blacksmiths, spinners, weavers, rug hookers, lace makers, quilters, flint knappers, rope makers, printers, marbelizers, silversmiths, pewter workers, potters, soap makers, candle dippers and more.

     I think one reason people enjoy seeing these skills being preformed is that so few of us have special skills.    In our busy lifestyles, we leave very little time to pursue crafty interests.  I am thankful for the ability to sew that I learned as a girl, but I don’t use this skill on a regular basis.  A number of years ago I also learned to spin wool.  It was fun and relaxing.  My spinning wheel mainly collects dust.

     Quite often as I see these wonderful skills being demonstrated I worry that they are fast becoming lost arts. 

     Our children are amazing when it comes to technology.  Without my children, my phone would simply be for phone calls, my computer problems would overwhelm me and this blog would not exist, since Jared set it up for me.  Are we offering them other skills that will benefit them in other ways?  It is clear our society is becoming more and more technological.  They do need those skills, but I believe there is much for them to gain in spending the time learning a craft, art or skill that uses their hands.

     My girls and boys have been asking me for a long time to teach them to sew.  It is past time I do this.  If we do not take the time to pass along our knowledge to our children, they will lack skills to enhance their lives and eventually some abilities will be relegated to historical events.

     A family night could be a new adventure if you skip the movie and all learn a craft together.  Plan a family project or even individual projects that you display at a special family evening that you invite family and friends to.

     If you yourself lack any ability in this area, take a class together.  Invite someone you know who can sew, whittle, carve, paint, quilt, wood work or any other skill your family has interest in, to come to your home.  Offer a lovely dinner in exchange for an evening of instruction.  Find videos at the library.  Start small if you need to, but start.

     Time, is the key word in all of our lives.  We all seem to need more of it.  Try removing some of the activities of the 21st century so you have time for some things of the past that will enhance your futures.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Lucy permalink
    September 13, 2011 8:02 am

    OK, finally a post that does NOT convict me. I can sew and preserve food. Hey, I can even birth at home! I COULD live like a pioneer if I had to. I sure do like my wall oven and cooktop though.~ LOL! I would have died without penicillin at age 6yr though…

    • Bobbi permalink
      September 13, 2011 8:38 am

      Lucy I’m thankful that you survived past age 6!

  2. Bobbi permalink
    September 13, 2011 8:37 am

    Wonderful blog! You are so right, as well! I’ve been “hounded” a lot by 3 little girls to teach them the “crafty” things of life. I don’t possess many of those old fashioned skills, so I’m seeking out others who do. I thank God for my talented friends and family members who are helping us go back in time to the days of crocheting and cross stitching while Daddy reads story time!

  3. Rachelle permalink
    September 13, 2011 11:22 am

    My husband must appreciate all the hand sewing I do. I taught him how to sew too.

  4. September 13, 2011 9:24 pm

    Debbie you know when I got ready to give something to my daughter for her wedding I wanted to make it myself not buy it. It was the Lord that heard and answered me and that is when He showed me how to quilt. So I know that what your saying is the soul need in our nations, that is to bring the family back to the home. Jody

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