April 26, 2014

grandma's parlor

I was reminded recently , by a good friend, of how important it is, to write down things  our mom  spoke of.  She was  born in 1906 and had a century of stories to share with us, but find I am forgetting them.  I hope blogging will jar my memory , order to share her stories with the grandchildren and  those of you interested.
Grandma Schultz's Parlor
The parlor was once a sanctuary in a home. It was seldom used,  but on that great day it was, anyone misbehaving would be sent to bed and not allowed to return that day. Furniture kept there was usually special pieces, given as wedding gifts, or acquired together at a later time. It was for special occasion use and Grandma Schultz kept the parlor locked all other times.   Mom said grandma had an upright  piano in the parlor, though she never learned to play, I wonder if perhaps one of the children had been taught. . Also she had a library table with crocheted doilies and high backed sitting chairs. Grandpa Schultz had a special china cupboard made that  had a gold filigree insert around the glass front edges and  each shelf had doilies to display her  beautiful dishes.Sis and I are not sure if this was in the dining room or parlor. but it was also locked as she prized  the beautiful glassware and china.  On Saturdays, mom would be assigned dusting and said she always admired grandmas  fancy dish cupboard, but didn't like having to starch the doilies .  When grandmother passed away, aunt Ethel received the china. and several pieces of grandmas dishes  were passed on in the family  . Also, the  parlor had wooden floors covered with clean these, mom said that dampened corn meal was used on the carpet and swept off with a brisk broom , or the rugs taken to the clothesline and  a rug beater used to remove dirt and dust from the rugs. 
Grandpa  and Grandma had a pretty settee and she describes a globe lamp that used kerosene, as they had no electricity. They carried candle lamps  after dark to see their way down stairs  .On Christmas Eve the parlor was opened and a pine tree that had been freshly  cut,  was brought in  , ornamented with real candles and German glass  ornaments . It was a special event , to hear mom describe it.   . Grandma would light the candles and tell everyone to "hold still" and not go near the pine tree. They sit around the tree and  admire it or would sing a song together in celebration..then she would carefully snuff the candles out on the tree. This probably explains why mom used to like waiting close to Christmas to put up a tree...saying our house could catch on fire from the lights.( though no candles for us..LOL)  
 Children were taught to repect their elders and manners always prevailed when in the parlor.     Mom said she never was one to sing on key. How I would love seeing the Schultz family around that Christmas tree! 
They had large guild framed photos of  the  children and also themselves . One was of her as a baby,   and presently hangs in a  great grand daughter's home( Janine and Pat Scanlon) and I believe the great grandparents photos are with Mark and Andrea Riley.  
     Mom said they had wood burning stoves  for warmth...using cut wood, corn cobs or coal.  She said the wall paper would discolor from soot and would have to be cleaned with wall paper  clay. (Did you know that Play dough was originally wall paper cleaner?)
   Favorite snacks were cakes,  fried doughnuts, cookies,  sweet breads, and lemonade. Grandpa  was said to have some home made  Apple Jack from the  the apple orchard ,  though it was not a parlor beverage.

This is all I can recall, but perhaps Helen and Karen will  help verify or add on to this. . How I wish I would have written moms stories down at the time she told them. Those days of her childhood were priceless to her. and she loved telling us about the Schultz family homestead.
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