When I was Growing Up In Sweetwater, there was no public kindergarten and children entered first grade at age six.
I grew up hearing stories of how my mother only had three dresses and one pair of shoes at any given time, and how her underclothes were made from flower sacks.
I didn't have a problem with that, although I had always had more than three dresses and at least two pairs of shoes. One pair for everyday and one for Sunday best.
There were several reasons for this.
One was that my parents and I shared a cheap rent house with my paternal grandparents. Another was that my daddy had a steady job at the gyp mill (United States Gypsum). And my mother was a stay-at-home mom who loved to sew to the extent that it was an obsessive compulsory disorder. By this I mean, that she was either at the Singer treadle sewing machine, or she had a needle and thread and cloth in her lap, or she was asleep. glitter prom dress
But, perhaps the most important reason is that mother had wanted four children since she was a child. For reasons I don't know, she lost her babies in the first trimester. I was "the girl who lived!", minus a scar on my forehead that looked like lightening.
So, I was a child, but also kind of a pet. A pet poodle dog, in fact, judging from the results of some of the home permanents.
Still, just before I started first grade, I was amazed! Astounded!Flabbergasted!
Mother shopped for remnants of fabric at least twice a week, and bought colored thread and rickrack, and delicate white lace.
She turned our living room into a garment factory and made dress after dress after dress.
When I went to bed at night, she was sewing!
When I woke up in the morning, she was sewing!
I was expecting three school dresses, like she had. But she made about ten. They were all very special with trim and sashes that tied into bows in the back.
I was so proud of them!
She also bought me a little red raincoat and galoshes to match, and an umbrella!
I loved rainy days and looked forward to them so I could wear my new rain apparel when I walked four blocks to the neighborhood elementary school!
Life was fulfilling and exciting back in 1952, when I started first grade, when I was Growing Up In Sweetwater!