Thursday, January 7, 2016

Little Heathens by Mildred Armstrong Kalesh

Eighteen members gathered for this special night where we also shared appetizers and desserts at a friends house.  We had an interesting discussion where almost everyone who had read the book loved it and we all had a story that could relate to what Mildred Kalesh had written.  One member said she was going to recommend it.  I ordered a book to keep for myself I loved it so much!

"Loved the arraignment of how they categorized the chapters." one said.  Another member said she loved reading the stories, it brought so many memories.  Even a member of our book club who grew up in Turkey could relate to the stories from this Iowa resident.  One member said she "loved the humor, it was a happy book and loved the recipes."

One member said "Think of the mind set of women back then and our expectations, no comparison.  Another said they "were always saving, which took a lot of energy.  So much work for one meal."  Another agreed, saying they "weren't wasting anything.  If something wasn't used in one recipe it was saved and used in another."  One member said she remembers as a child, helping her mother with the threshing bees.  She said "mother was preparing the next meal as I was doing dishes."

Some of us women recognize the work these people went through.  We lamented about how wasteful we are in our society and even our family members, running water while we brush our teeth or using one paper towel all the time and then just throwing it away!  A comment made too, was you can't miss what you didn't have.  Children also worked and helped in the family, there was no question about helping.

We liked her story that she shared about her mother being a single parent and those struggles.  They were strong back then and were full of confidence in such a hard life.  People were more physical back in that time too.  They weren't spending time in front of a tv like we are now.

This book was also a part of story telling.  We have lost that through generations.  Memories will be lost if not told.  Their lives were difficult and unique to parents before us.  The kids also had much more freedom then they have now.  The world has certainly changed.