Monday, June 28, 2010

Umbrella and a Handkerchief

"Never leave home without an umbrella and a handkerchief I always say". I looked at Nan and sighed - I had been hearing this all my life. Inwardly I rolled my eyes but respect stopped me from actually performing the act. I did love her but we were so different.

Nan was so very organised, so very neat, always prepared for whatever came her way, so very proper. Not that I begrudged that. This woman had been born at the end of the first World War, survived the Depression, volunteered during the second World War, raised four children alone after the death of her husband early in their marriage and taken in three others at various times. Without her 'umbrella and handkerchief' attitude, she would never have made it.

But me. Well I am not her. I have not walked her path. Her lessons are valuable but they are not gospel. I don't mind getting wet every now and then, or having to use a tissue. I don't wear a hat to go grocery shopping. And my hair is not always perfect. I am freer than Nan in the life that I live and in the circumstances that have affected me.

Would my generation be able to cope with rations and privations and making do and going without? Would we be able to cope with the hardships of the wars and a depression. How would we get by without the support of welfare in the tough times? My Nan and her generation did all of that and more.

I leave an umbrella and a neatly folded handkerchief on the table near the front door. I don't carry them as I leave the house but as I do go through my day, I do try and carry their meaning.

Writer's Prompts Daily


Julie G said...

A very nice piece of the different generations, if generations swapped it would be a whole new learning curb...I have a fold hankie in my nicker draw, from my nan...hehehehe

Megan Bayliss said...

Beautiful. Well crafted and written. I got goose bumps as I read that final paragraph.

Salute Nan. Thanks for all your hard work and your messages of civility.