Sunday, September 1, 2013

Aristocrat of the Old South


The "Aristocrat of the Old South" made me laugh.  The Master spent his days entertaining guests and riding around the neighborhood? The Missus "didn't need" to work in the kitchen???

That's not what I read in letters and diaries of the period!  Perhaps the very, very wealthy did this - but most men did the same back-breaking work on their plantations as the servants did!  They spent their days riding and supervising the workers all over the estate, at the very best.  My family worked in the fields alongside their servants, especially the children! They all knew how to pick cotton, shoe a horse, and run the mill!

The women made most of the clothes for all everyone, black and white, on the place, cared for the sick (black and white), and worked in the kitchen beside the cooks. Some taught their children.

Everyone was busy, from sunup to sundown.

This carried over into the following generations.  I never saw my grandmother without some needlework.  She said it was habit, for when she was growing up it was considered lazy and irresponsible for a lady to have idle hands.  She said it wasn't unusual for them to take their knitting along when they called on neighbors and relatives; they could be doing something useful while they visited.

Grandma passed her art of multi-tasking to me.   She taught me to embroider, and I still can't just sit down and watch tv without working on something at the same time.