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Examiner
  • Diane Mack: Moving around the furniture in my memories

  • I grew up with a mom who changed the furniture around, at least twice a year. We’d come home from school, after the Christmas break, and voila, the sofa, piano, TV, and everything was moved.

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  • I grew up with a mom who changed the furniture around, at least twice a year. We’d come home from school, after the Christmas break, and voila, the sofa, piano, TV, and everything was moved.
    It was amazing to me that this little lady, my mom, could move the heavy pieces. Our piano, and even the sofa, were weighty furniture. However, she would do it.
    I’d walk in the front door and get so excited to see something new. I felt like we had gotten new furniture.
    Well, I got into the same mood, the other day.
    You know how your house looks, after you take down the Christmas decorations. Our living room and kitchen looked almost naked. I knew it was time to move the furniture.
    Our living room used to be set up for seven kids and lots of friends. The room looked more like a classroom, with furniture against the walls.
    So, I put my hips into it and started pushing the love seat next to the sofa, making an “L” shape with the two pieces.
    Then, I shoved the three matching chairs in front of the living room windows. Boy, did the room look different.
    I sat down for a minute and rested. The living room looked like I had just walked into Nebraska Furniture Mart. I loved the arrangement.
    It’s amazing what you can do when you have a small budget.
    Mom used to remind me that she would walk four little girls down to market to purchase a ham hock for dinner. The ham hock would cost about 15 cents. Then she’d walk us home and prepare ham and green beans for dinner. I loved mom’s cooking.
    Plus there were other benefits. The walking time with my mom was priceless.
    Anyway, mom canned her own green beans, thus, this was a very inexpensive meal.
    Another favorite meal was mom’s macaroni and cheese. This was always our Monday meal.
    Clothes were passed down. With five little girls, this was easy. Mom took good care of our clothing, always pressing the clothes.
    No matter, if the older sister wore a blouse or skirt for a year or two . . . to the younger sister, these were new clothes.
    And no one knew any different.
    Hair cuts were at the beauty college. We swam at the city pool on the free days. The movie theater ran a matinee for 10 cents.
    Libraries were great places (and still are). Milton Bradley’s board games were inexpensive and played over and over again.
    Mom didn’t know how to drive, so there was no cost for gas, or a second vehicle. We’d walk everywhere.
    Page 2 of 2 - At home, we had one phone and one bathroom. Can you imagine five girls and one bathroom? We had no problem with that, and it worked for us.
    There are many ways to housekeep, cook, and entertain, with limited funds.
    OK, I will get off my soap box, but not until I pass along the easiest mac and cheese, ever.
    This is not my mom’s recipe. Nevertheless, whoever the Pennsylvania lunch lady was at my sister’s school, thank you! Here you go . . .
    Melt 3 tablespoons of margarine and pour into a 9-by-13 inch baking pan. Layer, in order, with the following: 2 1/2 cups of dry macaroni, 4 cups of grated cheese, 5 cups of milk, and salt and pepper. (You can add ham, or other vegetables.)
    Swirl mixture with wooden spoon, twice.
    Bake 1 hour at 350, uncovered. Mac and Cheese will have a golden crust on the top.
    Friends, have a great week
    Diane Mack is coordinator of Putting Families First, Jackson County’s Family Week Foundation. Email her at Jacksoncountyfamilyweek@juno.com or visit www.jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org.
     
     

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