Blogging 101: Hand-Me-Downs
Hand-Me-Downs is my third offering in my Blogging 101 challenge. At first when I considered this and the many areas it could refer too, I found my self visiting loads of ideas in my head. So I decided to narrow things down and streamline my thoughts in order to share a few examples from my life. So I set them into their own little categories, simply because it made things easier.
One example I immediately thought about were clothes and what I can only describe as a custom/principle my mother raised me and my sister up with as children. That was you had four categories of clothes your ‘Sunday Best,’ ‘School Clothes,’ ‘Everyday Clothes’ and ‘House Clothes.’
- Sunday Best – Were brand new clothes and shoes
- School Clothes – Your uniform
- Everyday/General Clothes – Clothes that were in a good or fairly good condition
- House Clothes – Clothes to play in. Clothes that weren’t in the greatest of condition so if they got torn or stained it really didn’t matter much.
All of these clothes worked on a sliding scale. They became Hand-Me-Downs. If the condition of your clothes deteriorated rapidly through washing or simply because of everyday wear and tear – they inevitably moved into the arena of being Handed-down. The normal trend would be either be from Sunday Best to Everyday wear or from Every day wear to House Clothes. However, if you outgrew any of the top three they would go to a sibling, in my case my Sister as she was younger than me. House Clothes once no longer viable got disposed of. Now, I must add my sister did get clothes purposely bought for her in her own right. By no means did she were everything I had because if they not everything suited her or fitted so things did go to the charity shop too as dress making was not my mums favourite thing.
Hand-Me-Down clothes made shrewd sense in my family as it did and still does to millions of family’s. Because, it meant you tried to make the most out of your clothes as buying clothes on a weekly basis was something my parents couldn’t afford. As a child it taught me how to appreciate new things and take care of them. It was something I ended up keeping for myself and I used it for raising my own kids.
My grandmother, played a pivotal part in my life and outside of the conversations we had, I have two things that belonged to her and marked different stages of her life. Both have hardly any monitory value but they are loaded with memories for me. The first is this:-
Now smile if you had one in your kitchen, they certainly don’t make them the same anymore:-) My grandmother loved baking and this little beauty was used regularly by her, from in the 70’s when she first purchased it. She would mix wedding cakes, all manner or sponges and buns even bread. Just the sound of it whirring away takes me back. I inherited it when she passed away and I must admit for a number years it just sat idle in my kitchen because baking wasn’t my thing. However, a few years ago I decided to put it to use. With the wonderful support of Google and Youtube I started to whip up sponges, cup cakes and West Indian Black Cake for myself. It’s still works and the sound still throws me back to my grandmother’s kitchen.
The other Hand-Me-Down is my grandmothers walking stick. Not something I need to use at the moment:-) But once again it too oozes a lot of memories for me. I think it’s because its wood. It’s very tactile and reminds me of the times where she was more frail and less able to move about and be in command of her life as she was in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.
Now it wasn’t only the clothes that could be referred to in my life as Hand-Me-Downs. But just as I adopted and lived by the above principle from my mum, so it is with many things that I have learnt as a child and then used to shaped me as an adult.
Some things I can only describe as quirky because they are things that were at some point somebody else’s and I either learnt it or it influenced me so much I adopted it as my own. Language is one area that comes to me. I am quite the magpie when it comes to catch phrases and sillyisms (new word hehe!) “Bear with!” I have gone through a raft of these through my life time.
Another is my handwriting. You see, my parents are from Jamaica and it always fascinated me how similar the handwriting was for people of my mum, dad and grandmother’s generation. It was as if they were almost clones of each other. But when I was young handwriting or calligraphy lessons were a key element to my art class. We were taught to write in pencil and once we reached the required standard you were promoted to fountain pen. Writing in biro was band. There were strict rules on the size of your capital letters compared to lower case which was half the size, and each word hand to allow for the space of your little finger between it. The end result was a standardised and accepted way of writing. Our assignments and text books were so uniformed and almost mirrors of each other. Over the years once released from the beady eye of my art teacher I tweaked and adjusted my hand writing an over time. I broke out of the uniformity but neatness never left me. People often comment on my handwriting saying how lovely it is. When I was 9 and 10 years old I must admit ‘Calligraphy class’ was not my favourite, but as I grew up and realised how rare a subject it was and how i have never heard it taught in any other schools I knew, I grew to appreciate it very much.
Hand-Me-Downs, where would we be without them?