Events like this “situation” are milestones; markers in history, like 9-ll, World Wars, and so on. What would we like to hear in the news at these times?
We don’t need any more warnings of how to wash our hands, not touch our face (I still don’t have a handle on that!), and how to socially isolate. I hope I am guessing correctly, but I think that right now we want to hear about others and maybe also, how they are coping. We want social interaction.
Our British friends are experiencing the same situation as we in the United Kingdom. They are our age and remember World War II as little children. I quote Yvonne here in part.
“The way things are shaping up, it’s a bit like after the war with shortages. People have been stockpiling, leading to shortages of essential items. There was no flour, or eggs, or toilet rolls in my local shop yesterday.
“Boris (their Prime Minister) has just announced that all our pubs, cafes, gyms, restaurants have to close. As you know from your visits here how much our pubs mean to us all to socialize and enjoy a good pint of English ale.
“I do think some of the younger people will find all these restrictions very hard. I hate to say it, but a lot of them think food comes from a supermarket and just gets popped into a microwave. We have had a different upbringing watching our mothers struggle to feed us and make something always from scratch after the war years.”
I agree. We in this country see the same tendency. An entire generation does not know how to cook, do basic mending, fix a broken hinge, or stop a toilet from leaking. They don’t know how to bake cookies, sew a button on a coat, or iron their own shirts. If a lamp breaks, they might throw it out rather than rewire it. This throw-away and get-a-new-one society is not sustainable. Somewhere in the 1990s, academic “geniuses” eliminated Home Economics classes and wood and metal shop classes from the school curriculums.
Maybe, just maybe, we can take this opportunity now to teach some of these skills to our children and grandchildren while they are home. I have an idea. It’s a book that I found, and it would make an easy lesson guide to teach.
I obtained it on loan from the Sunflower Loan System, but I’m going to buy it. The book is, “The Useful Book, 201 Life Skills They Used to Teach in Home Ec and Shop,” by Sharon Bowers and David Bowers. Some of the chapters, I will list in part only. One could easily do one project a day. Think of the household help you will gain through this investment in teaching these basics! Here’s just a taste of some of the many subjects.
HOME EC - cooking, sewing, laundry and clothing, domestic arts, how to mop a floor, load a dishwasher, vacuum, etc.
LIFE SKILLS - how to make a household budget, answer a wedding invitation, pack a suitcase, tie a tie, stock a first aid kit, etc.
SHOP - how to hang a picture, plaster a wall, prepare a surface for painting, paint a room, paint a faux finish, prepare a wood surface for painting, how to caulk a bathtub, patch linoleum, etc.
WOODWORKING and METALWORKING - how to build a table, make wind chimes, stain wood, build a doghouse, make earrings, sand wood
There’s much more, but I am out of room. What a plan! What do you think? I am learning too. This is the time to try.
Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or juditabler@awomansview.