Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thoughts While I Work

Today I am cooking, still, for the upcoming holiday.  As I peeled the carrots and potatoes the way the potato peeler left them, with narrow flat rows the length of them, took me back to watching my mother cook.

Those quiet times in our little house, and that oh so tiny kitchen.  It was about an 800 sq ft house, and we didn't think it was little. The front door brought you right into the living room.  The kitchen was also on the front of the house off the living room.  As soon as you entered the kitchen on the left there was the door to the basement.  It stood open most of the time, I'm not sure why.  Just past that door was the small space for the stove on one side, sink back in the corner, and on the other wall, a window, space for the refrigerator and then the 'back door' (it was actually on the side of the house) and then there was a nice sized window on the front.  We had four red and white vinyl chairs with chrome legs, and a red Formica topped table with chrome legs and chrome around the sides.  At least that's what I think I remember, but we also had a plain white wooden table for some time.

The common dishes of the day were plain colors.  Those pale green coffee mugs you can seldom find in thrift stores, you know the ones? those were our cups.  We had stainless steel flatware and never wanted silver to clean and worry over.  There was usually a cute little flowered or embroidered curtain on that front window and I think only the 'venetian' blinds on the side window and back door.

For a few brief years my mother basked in the glory of having decorated her living room well enough to impress an interior decorator she and my father met thru the PTA at my school.  Mom bought a burgundy and gray couch and chair set, found drapes with large roses and leaves to match those colors and with some lighter but peachy pinks, and two shades of gray for the leaves, like there were shadows.  They were nice, and some of the few things I enjoyed in the decorations of the 50s. (Most of the home decor of the 50s made me ill! I guess I have always noticed such things.)

In this decorator-appreciated-room she also had some funky lamps.  Actually the lamp itself I don't remember but the shades were either a pale beige like the back ground color of the drapes or a light, light gray, and they were rectangular and made from slats like on the 'venetian' blinds!  I hated them.  Dusting them was torture!  I was tortured a lot! 

To finish my description of this room, which over all was very pretty, the walls were a dusty rose.  Mom always enjoyed saying that, 'they are a dusty rose'.  The carpet I'm not sure, but whatever it was it co-ordinated well.  Our wood work was always painted with white, white oil paint and I always thought it was beautiful.  Can you see that room?  The wood work stood out nicely!  She had some pretty little dishes that Daddy's father bought for her one Christmas.  She loved these things, because they came from him and because they were white with little roses of them.  The set included a cigarette box, ash trays, and one or two candy dishes with lids.  My sister wanted it when our mother passed away in 1989. 

Those decorations lasted about three years or more.   When they had to paint the walls again, for some reason which I don't remember, they mixed all their left over paint from the rest of the house and used it on the living room.  It turned out a fresh minty green and it actually complimented the drapes and furniture OK until they were able to replace them.  I liked that green.  I liked that my Mom was happy more.

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