Darning Socks and Other Lost Arts

12 Nov

This morning I was looking through an old Good Housekeeping Cookbook (Printed February 1926).  Thanksgiving is only a couple of weeks away and I thought maybe the old cookbook might have a new recipe that would be fun to try.  After paging through it briefly I was drawn to the back of the book where there was a household discovery section which included About -The- House Discoveries, About-The-Laundry Discoveries, Bath-Room Discoveries, Bedroom Discoveries (Not what you are thinking!), Cookery Discoveries, Discoveries Concerning Children, Kitchen Discoveries and Sewing-Room Discoveries.  The entire section was 26 pages long.

The title of one discovery in the Sewing-Room Discoveries caught my eye.  It was on darning socks.  When I first got married my mother-in–law talked about the socks she needed to darn.  I thought I don’t know how to darn socks.  My mom never taught me how to darn socks.  Not wanting to be a bad wife and let my new husband run around with holes in his socks I learned how to darn socks.  My husband asked me to please not do that.  He hated the way the darned socks felt in his shoes.  He said I think we can afford to buy some new socks when these have holes in them.  That was fine with me because I didn’t like darning socks.


In 1992 when my husband and I were in the middle of a major demolition/remodel/building project we moved in with my in laws for three weeks with our four children.  One morning as I was leaving for work after I sent the kids off to school my mother in-law said she would scrub our socks for me before she washed them.  I said I could handle the laundry after work but inferred that she thought that our socks weren’t white enough without scrubbing them.  I never did.  I just made sure they were turned the right way for washing and put them in the machine.  My mother in law is the Laundry Queen.  She does laundry like no one else I know.  Her whites are always the whitest and everything is always mended and ironed.

I felt compelled to meet the challenge of her whiter whites so before I left for work that morning I filled the scrub bucket with a various of cleaning agents, mostly bleach and soap, added our white socks and left them there to soak until I got home from work that evening.  I did the laundry as usual that evening and I was wowed by how white my white socks were.  I may be onto something here.  Cleaner socks with no scrubbing. 

The next day my oldest son was at the neighbor’s home afterschool and removed his shoes as was the custom in their home.  His friend’s Dad said “Curt, What happened to your socks?”  My son looked at his feet and all that remained of his freshly cleaned white socks was the ribbing around his ankle.  The rest had disintegrated into dust within his shoes.  My husband came home from work that evening and noted that his socks felt funny inside his shoes.  He took off his shoes and his socks had also disintegrated within his shoes.  He looked at me and said “Its okay if our socks aren’t scrubbed white like Mom’s, clean is good enough.”

I am so thankful for my husband and his unconditional love for me.  I don’t feel compelled to live up to someone else’s way of doing things.  I’m finally okay being me.  I still have high expectations for me but they are mine not someone else’s.


Posted by on November 12, 2010 in Humor, Life Happens, Uncategorized


Tags: , ,

6 responses to “Darning Socks and Other Lost Arts

  1. Thomas Stazyk

    November 12, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Great story and an important life lesson! Thanks.

  2. flyinggma

    November 12, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Thanks Thomas. I struggled for many years trying to meet other people’s expectations of who I thought they wanted me to be. It’s okay to be me I finally decided after many years.

  3. Joe Clark

    November 13, 2010 at 6:59 am

    OK, I’m laughing my butt off and it hurts when I laugh (still suffering from the fall…). Good post! Great life lessons.

  4. flyinggma

    November 13, 2010 at 8:16 am

    It wouldn’t have been so bad but the friend’s house that my son was at was a lawyer that had just moved back to town. Everyone looked up to him and his accomplishment. Afterall he had gone to Dartmouth. I also still had two weeks left to live at my in-laws until we could move back into our home. I still don’t measure up in the laundry department.

    Glad I made you laugh, it is good for the soul and so much more. Still hurting…you need to be more careful.

  5. The Sidebar Review

    November 14, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Ha ha! That’s great! Good image in my mind.

    I want to know what some of those other “Discoveries” were! I bet you can find a ton of blogging material there!

    • flyinggma

      November 14, 2010 at 8:34 pm

      Perhaps if I had read the About-The-Laundry Discoveries before tackling our socks I may have prevented them from disintegrating after a day of wear. When was the last time you “sprinkled” your clothes? If you are in need of those instructions I will happily pass them on.

      One of the discoveries was Saving Strength on Wash Day. “When wash day comes around, I use the children’s wagon to haul the wash basket of wet clothes from the back door or laundry to the clothes-line. It not only saves me a heavy load, but it also prevents dragging the larger pieces of the wash on the ground while they are being hung up, because the wagon can be drawn along right under the clothes-line. When there is snow, the children’s sled answers equally as well. Mrs. R.B.C., Ind.”

      You are correct, there is a ton of blogging material available. If I ever run out of other material I know a new source. Jeanne


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: