Learning from your grandparents could save your life

by Catherine Haug, February 3, 2013

As a kid, I used to follow my Dad around the house and yard, watching (and little did I know, learning) what he did. My Dad was in his 60s; when he retired, he became the homemaker and my Mom became the provider, managing our bar. Having been a bachelor until 1946 (he was 55),  he only knew homemaking the old-fashioned way that he had learned from his Victorian-era parents.

It turns out, these were things that made for a rich and healthful life, and if we would return to at least some of these old-fashioned ways, our lives would be richer and more healthful, according to Dr. Alexandra Carrasco. Read on for more.

Old-fashioned homemaking

Here’s a list of some things I observed my Dad doing around the home:

  • Started a garden and small orchard (one apple, one pie-cherry tree);
  • Cooked all our meals from scratch;
  • Canned and froze our bounty in the fall;
  • Cleaned the house, not using the gee-whiz modern stuff Mom brought home from the grocery store, but rather using vinegar, salt and baking soda for cleaning, and furniture oil for the wood furniture;
  • Used a broom he bought each year from a local woman who made her living making brooms;
  • Saved cooking fat for a farmer’s wife who turned it into soap;
  • Saved our worn-out clothes for another woman who wove them into rugs for our house;
  • Baked bread for us, and to use as part of a trade for eggs, or a butchered lamb, hog or steer from a local rancher;
  • Worked a few hours a week working behind our bar, just so he could commune with his old friends who came in just to have a good political debate.

All these things I observed, I tucked away in my mind, knowing it would come in handy some day. During my working career, I didn’t have the time to use what I’d learned from him, but now that I’m retired, most of these have become a part of my life. And now I’ve become an avid spokesperson for doing things the old-fashioned way, as part of our ESP team.

So I was excited to see an article about this in Mind Body Green:  8 Things Your Grandparents Did that Could Save Your Life, by Dr. Alexandra Carrasco. She considers these ‘forgotten wisdoms’ that could ‘literally save your life.’ These are:

  • “Grow your own food;
  • Get back in the kitchen and learn to cook from scratch;
  • Discover the healthfulness and healing power of broth;
  • Ferment your own foods;
  • Learn some home remedies;
  • Make your own cleaning products;
  • Firm up your social network and [maintain] close relationships;
  • Spend time outside and go barefoot.”

Check out her article for more detail on each item: 8 Things Your Grandparents Did that Could Save Your Life. And here are some articles on The EssentiaList pertinent to this list:

And here are some from my personal website:

Comments are closed.