1. Recipe Boxes
Grandmas use to file their best recipes in these little boxes made out of wood, tin or cardboard. Always handy in a cupboard or on a counter for easy retrieval. Friends used to exchange recipes using recipe cards. The bonus is that those recipe boxes would make it down to the children and even grandchildren who could see their loved ones handwriting and re-create the family recipes even after they were gone. Today, most people save their recipes on their computers but think about it: Are you going to pass your family recipes down to your kids on a computer file before you die? Probably not. Here is a pretty awesome recipe for sale: http://www.vivised.com/wooden-recipe-box/
2. Street Play
If you were born before the 90s, you probably experienced the thrill of being able to open the front door of your house to find the street full of kids playing or the familiar knock on when your friends came to ask if you could play. Today with kids being in structured activities, having too much access to computers and just the general lack of connection and community between people these days, this is no longer the norm. Which is unfortunate because parents are constantly looked to as a source of entertainment when children become bored. Scheduling play dates like appointments is so unnatural and forced, not to mention burdensome on parents. I live in a neighborhood chock-full of kids and teens and I only know it because I see them get out of the school buses and walk straight into their homes and only leave their homes when in a car or back on the school bus.
3. The House Dress
Call me old-fashioned but I have always heard that the way you dress has an impact on your attitude and mindset for the day. The 1950s house dress was simple and easy to put on and take off and there were thousands of fabric prints and styles. The norm was for ladies to look neat and elegant and you could leave the house with what you were wearing because it was always good enough. You know what? I think I’m going to take up sewing and start making myself some house dresses.
4. Cooking From Scratch
I don’t know if we are busier today that we were in the past or if we just do thing differently. Cooking is becoming a rare thing these days with many of us constantly eating out or buying prepared meals. The thing is, that you never really know for sure what is in the food that you do not prepare yourself and chances are that it is full of preservatives and subpar ingredients. Many people are cooking more thanks to the Paleo or Keto diet craze and they will tell you that it is a lot more work but so worth it.
5. Victory Gardens
These gardens belong to the WWII era when there was food rationing and the government encouraged people to plant gardens in their yards and public parks as well as raise chickens for eggs. They were used to reduce pressure on the public food supply since soldiers overseas needed to be fed and also to boost people’s morale by giving them an indirect way to help in the war effort. Nowadays we are too dependent on food manufacturers and large agricultural operations to feed ourselves. We go to work every day to get pieces of paper to buy food that we could actually get for free if we put our minds to it. I know that it’s a bit simplistic but it is not revolutionary. People used to grow what they ate! Imagine if everybody used their yards to grow food with the help of neighbors and we all shared the harvest. Today if there is some kind of disaster that disrupted the food supply chain and supermarkets had nothing, most of us would be toast!
Every time I go shopping for clothes, no matter if it’s here or sometimes abroad, all the clothes look the same. Same themes, same colors, blah, blah blah. I would love to know how to sew and make my own clothes. I have already successfully made aprons, but I really want to make some cute clothes. This use to be a skill that mothers passed on to daughters and was just as important as cooking, cleaning and gardening. I would imagine that it gives a great sense of achievement and self-sufficiency.
7. Home Economics Class
I can’t say that I was even in school when Home-economics class went out of style, however I’ve heard that high school girls took this class to learn homemaking skills. This class would still be of great benefit to all students regardless of gender since they could learn real-life skills like cooking, sewing, gardening, composting or how to properly clean. Those skills will always will always be needed, unless, of course you hit the lottery and can get some help.
Many people used to keep written accounts of their daily lives and their personal opinions in writing. A diary includes a person’s thoughts, life experiences and feelings and it does not include anybody else’s experience except for the writer’s direct experience. I don’t know if anybody does that anymore, but wouldn’t it be incredible to be able to read your great father’s diary 100 years later?
9. Real Books
Even though real books still exist, and people still do use them, it seems like at some point in the future, they may also become a distant memory. I for one, love to hold them, smell them and feel the pages. I love to see them on my bookshelves with all their diverse colors, shapes and sizes. Digital books just don’t give the same feeling and sense of connection to what is being read as real books do, in my opinion.
10. Cursive Writing
There are many reasons to learn how to write cursive. Some of the top ones are improved brain neural connections in ways that typing can never do. Increased writing speed is another one as well as improved fine motor skills and increased retention. In addition, cursive writing connects us to the past by allowing us to read important historical documents such as the Constitution of the United States. Today, less and less young people know cursive handwriting. It is becoming a lost art.
11. Pen Pals
Most kids today would have no idea what a pen pal is but those of you who are old enough probably know what I’m talking about. It was a way to make friendships with people in a different geographical location. When I was a teen, I had a pen pal in Algeria and it took about a month to get letters back and forth to each other. The letters were in cursive and in French, so it took some time for me to decipher them and write back in French as well. Some kids today would think that it was more like torture, however to me it was exciting, and I always had something to look forward to. My pen pal and I shared so many things about our lives and the countries we lived in. We sent pictures and objects back and forth to each other for many, many years. Having a pen pal made me into an adventurous person, curious and helped me develop a love for travel and an appreciation for other cultures .
12. Vinyl Records
Vinyl Records have become fashionable lately as a collector’s item. Vinyl is better than digital music according to many people because of the sound quality, the experience of the surface noise as the needle runs along the surface and grooves. Vinyl, like books offer a tactile experience. When you own digital music, it is basically like owning thin air. There is nothing to show for the money you paid.
13. Corded Telephones
Do you remember when you called someone and they didn’t answer, it simply meant that they were not there or not available? Presently, phones are an extension of our bodies and people assume (correctly in some instances) that you always have your phone on your person and if you do not answer or text back it’s because you are avoiding them. Back when corded phones, once you got off the phone, you were free .
14. Roller Disco
In the 70s and early 80’s there was an incredibly way of hanging out with friends on the weekends. It consisted of going to the roller skating rink and skating in a circle for hours to the beat of the music (mostly disco). Yes, skating rinks still exist today but it’s just not the same since back in those days it was more of an adult night club type of activity. People were crazy about roller skates in general and people wore them as the equivalent as shoes. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to revive such an awesome social activity?
15. Printed Photos
Today we take an incredible amount of photos since it doesn’t cost anything to take them digitally. Not too long ago we had film for 24 photos and you had to make the best of it, so digital is definitely awesome in that respect. However, digital photos are nothing but pixels on a screen, most photos never transition to the physical world and I don’t mean that all photos should, but some of our best and favorites should be printed to make sure you have a back up just in case those digital images disappear for any reason. I cringe when I think about a friend of mine who had all her children’s baby pictures in digital form and somehow lost every last one of them. You can’t ever get that back.