November 26, 2014

America – From Blunderbusses to Blunders

When Grandpa Had A Blunderbuss

One of the great misconceptions I embraced for many years was that the generations before mine were less educated and therefore should be considered ignorant of our ‘modern society’.  How utterly pompous and idiotic was that line of thinking?

Along Came The Sixties

Of course I was wrong. Yes, granted our country has made plenty of mistakes in the past 235 years, but up until the 1960’s we kept to our ideals, exhibited some sort of civility towards each other and had pride in our country. Now, I believe, we’re in a state of decay and will continue to be that way as our country, and the world, adjust to shifting populations, more demand and supply, and leaders of dubious intent and intelligence.

Prior generations worked for the greater good with pride in their skills and a hope for a better tomorrow.  They believed that hard work and dedication would bring them prosperity and happiness because of course they could depend on the Constitution.

Everyone knows the 60’s brought a radical change in society with the sorrow and disillusionment of the Vietnam war (we prided ourselves on ‘never having lost a war’), and we heard our schoolmates, cousins and friend’s names whispered in sadness as death after death was reported.  The idealism of the early part of the decade turned into anger and then revolt. We lost ourselves in drugs and self-indulgence that continues to this day.

The Present Is No Present

In many ways, it seems we are in that mode again.  In the 60’s we were against “the man” and what it stood for (oppression of the masses while hypocrites wore dresses in secret, and politicians or the military kept us busy being afraid of the red menace).  Here we are again, but this time our social reach is worldwide more than ever before.  We can see first-hand what is going on in other countries at a moment’s desire.

The middle east is undergoing profound change in leadership.  It’s unstable and could topple like a stack of stones hit by an Angry Bird.  Europe’s economy is fragile.  So fragile that many countries are looking for a bailout.  And, do you know where they’re looking? China! Borrowing money from China will happen and again the balance of power will shift.

Which brings me to the current state of blunders affairs.  Next year our country will again elect a President.  I have never seen a more unlikely bunch of contenders in all the 40 years I’ve been voting.  I’ve seen more astute wisdom from high school students than from these buffoons.  What are they trying to say? What are they for?  They scare me, they really do.

Will Obama Get Re-Elected?

That is not to say I’m not disillusioned with our current man in office.

I had high hopes for Mr. Obama. I thought that he would bring an educated mind along with his sophisticated demeanor, take charge and whip our sorry government into shape. Again, I was wrong.  In my opinion, he’s too nice. We needed that man who made promises and had us believing again that our country could go back to being civilized.  We’d spend more time making better, cleaner cars; we’d be able to fix our infrastructure that so badly needs it, and we could extricate ourselves from the Iraq and Afghanistan war zones and quit sacrificing our soldiers to a trumped up war.

Where will we go from here? The people of this country are emotionally, physically and spiritually tired. Tired of the lies and being treated like blank checks by the blood sucking tyrants in corporate America.  Occupy Wall Street and other occupiers is a symptom.  As long as the people are unhappy it will continue.  Maybe protests will die down when we get into the depths of the cold dark winter.  But you can be sure it’ll be back in spring. In force. “You say you want a revolution?”… I think America’s citizens are gonna give you one!

Of Melmac, Corelle and Other Fine China

Corelle Festiva green dinnerplate

Our niece Jill and I get into some really fun conversations that can last for hours and hours. Today was no exception, and one of our topics was family china.  We discussed the various patterns we’ve had, and the ones we remember from childhood, as well as ones we’d like to have!

I wasn’t taking notes so I can’t remember all of Jill’s ‘china history’, so for now I’ll just list my own from memory.  Have you ever noticed that dinnerware kind of ‘evolves’ over time? When I was a young girl my mom had her wedding china that we used quite often.  For the life of me though, I can’t remember the name of the pattern, and I’m not even sure any more what it looked like.  I know that seems silly to some people, but the china was so connected to my memories of my mom and all I can remember is either the china or the silver had the word “spring” in it.

You know, when you think about it (and Jill and I think women are more into this than men) our lives are really tied to the dishes we ate from all through our lives.  It’s something we all have in common, and with so many designs to choose from, it happened that even during certain periods of time we had the same types of dishes, i.e. Corelle.

Brown Serving Bowl Texas Ware Dinnerware - Vintage Plastic Dinnerware

Take for instance when we were first married. We had very little money and so our ‘china’ of choice was Melmac or Melamine.  We probably bought a whole set (plates, cups, saucers, sauce dishes, etc.) for $20 at K-Mart.  That was around 1972, and at the time my favorite colors were yellow and orange so the color I chose for dishes was an orange and yellow floral with brown side dishes.  My guess is it was Texasware. We had those plates and dishes until around 1980 when we sold them at a yard sale to someone who wanted them for their travel trailer.  The image of the brown bowl above is from Grannie’s Attic and I have included a link to the site if you click on the picture.

Not long after, the ubiquitous Corelle came on the market and people loved it because it could go in those new microwaves everyone was getting.  They were tough, pretty in their own way and there were enough open stock serving pieces that each household could have everything matching, right down to the salt shakers.  I’m not sure what year it was, but sometime in the 1970’s we bought our set of the white with green flowers Corelle (spring blossom green).  Guess what! We still have it. It may eventually go away, but one of my biggest quirks is that I hate getting rid of things just because they’re out of style.  (I have gotten rid of the platform shoes and leisure suits! ;) ). The photo above is from The Pyrex Files and on that site you will find a fascinating explanation of the difference between the spring blossom green pattern and the crazy daisy one.

A few years ago I bought some new dishes that look just like Depression glass, but they’re actually ::::drumroll please:::: Corelle.  We recently had some guests here for dinner and when I told them the dinner plates were Corelle they were amazed.  I have two sets of this green color with a slight swirl design on the edges. I’m starting to get arthritis in my hands and these seem like a safe bet for the future.

What’s your special dinnerware memory? I hope other people do posts like this in the future.  I’d like to see your memory-connected china too.  If you don’t know me by now, the title for this article was meant to be some subtle humor. :)  I suppose now because I wrote about Melmac I’ll get lots of people visiting thinking I’m writing about the planet that Alf came from.

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