Antiques From the Past Are Tried and True

A few days ago my 9 year old great niece told me that her school teacher had the class chew peppermint gum before their weekly spelling list test. I said, "What?! Are you sure?!" She said, "Sure I'm sure!" I told her in my day if you got caught with gum, you either had to have enough for the whole class, or you had to walk up in front of everybody and spit it out in the garbage can! (she seemed sad for me...so sweet!) She told me that Teacher said peppermint helps the brain concentrate. She also said she felt sparklier and maybe a little bit smarter while chewing the gum.

Being that I can surf in Northern Minnesota as though I lived by the ocean all my life, I did just that. I read on the computer that peppermint has been used for hundreds of years, for many things: stomach aches, ant repellant, respiratory problems, dandruff, lice, pimples, and on and on.

That got me to thinking about people I meet in my store, who absolutely have to use an antique or vintage item for a specific purpose. Sauerkraut. Anytime I have a 5 gallon, or larger, crock, someone has to have it to make sauerkraut. They've tried modern methods and it just isn't the same. Pickles have to be made like great grandma's, too. Lefsa needs a certain kind of vintage large frying pan and an old wooden flipper thingy. You can buy or carve your own flipper thingy, but apparently it has to be used dozens of times before it's just right.

I realized even I have some old timer favorites. We have a Bunn coffee pot running 24/7. I doctor my coffee with creamer and sweetener. But, if we cook a pot of coffee over the firepit, I drink it black and love it! Potpourri is ground cinnamon in simmering water.

Some folks will only use a hand crank butter churn, and, believe it or not, those non-electric non-motorized push mowers (Our preferred lawn care method comes in a jug marked Round-Up! Saves loads of time!).

Parents are buying old vintage toys for their kids, like Tonka's and Buddy L's, even if they have to restore the appearance a little. Why? Because they grew up with them, and the toys last and last, as well as keep the kids moving and using their imaginations. Raggedy Ann dolls are being hand made just like the old ones, and sock monkeys are making a comeback, right along with hand puppets.

You can have all the modern Game-Boys, Wii's, and Atari's you want, but for some reason, if you drag out mom's old Twister game, the fun is deeper...or sweeter.

Our current antique and vintage collectibles fell out of favor in exchange for faster, easier, shinier, cleaner and/or more convenient. It seems as though progress sped up exponentially, and left many of us wishing for grandma's baked beans, and anticipating great grandpa's next hand carved toy for us.

Maybe, as a society, we should all sit down, suck on a peppermint stick, and think things through, a bit, because there's a whole lot of.....The Past That's Tried And True

 

Elizabeth Allison
The Other Place, ABC Shop


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