What My Nana Knew

After I posted my WFMW entry last night, I got to thinking.

I was super lucky to have my great-grandma, my Nana, until my late teens, and my grandma (her daughter) until my mid-20s. They were my mother’s grandmother and mother.

I had another grandma, of course. She was a Rosie the Riveter.

My Nana was raising her children during the Great Depression. My grandmother’s were Depression babies.

These were amazing women who were so…capable. Capable in a way that many people, myself included, just aren’t anymore. They were innovative, creative women who knew how to figure out solutions to problems. None of them were country/farm women, but they all knew how to grow a Victory garden. They could sew, stretch a meal for four to feed eight, and make do or do without.

So I’ve decided to start a monthly series. I want to spend some time exploring what my Nana and grandmas knew, and figuring out how to live in this scary economy. I believe that whatever is coming will hit us harder than the Great Depression hit our grandparents and great-grandparents because we don’t know what they did.

Or if we do, we know it in the abstract.

We know that we can make our own candles and soap. We just don’t have the experience, except maybe with little pour and mold kits from Michaels. But making our own as a practical matter?

We know that it’s possible to stay warm without electricity. The Eskimos did it, right? But are we prepared to do so?

We know that Laura Ingalls probably had a pantry filled with home canned foods. But how many of us own a pressure canner?

I went and picked up 80 pounds of apples this morning. I’m going to send Kevin down for one more 40 pound box. And then I’m going to do some research about what my Nana must have known about preserving 120 pounds of apples.

Check back in the next day or two for the first real installment of What My Nana Knew, and find out what happens to those apples. If I can figure out MckLinky, I’ll even post one of those so that you all can share what your Nana’s knew.

More ideas here.


Filed under spirit

11 responses to “What My Nana Knew

  1. I can’t wait to read these! I too wish we had not lost so much of what previous generations knew. I wish I was more self-reliant. . . and yet, I am also lazy and am trying to get motivated enough just to attack the basket of things needing mended. ‘Cause, see, I can’t sew worth squat (even though my mother is a true sewing genius–I really wish she had forced me to learn when I was a kid) and so it does not come naturally, which is why it is do hard to make myself do it. I figure, it’s not going to be easy, and the results aren’t even going to be that great. Clearly, such thoughts are not motivating. But, hey, maybe your blog posts will be! ; )

  2. sandy

    I cant wait to read more of this series. Thanks for posting.

  3. christinesatterfield

    What a great idea! I often think about how it must have been in the “olden days” when families passed down tips and tricks (like preserving apples). Now, we just learn on the internet…which, by the way, I am very thankful for!

  4. you were lucky to have such great nanas the stories you have to share are wonderful. I myself think I am pretty special to have had my grandmothers as well

  5. Our grandmas definitely were industrious women. Thanks for linking up to Finer Things Friday.

  6. What a wonderful idea for a series! Can’t wait to read your posts! My Greatt Grandmas died before I was 5, but I’ll give some thought to things my Grandma taught me.

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