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October 01, 2007



Holy Crap- the good old days sucked. I'll take this old day any old day.


Nice apron. My guess is she'd have to lean that far forward to keep the strap from splipping up her front. Carrying baskets on your head is more comfortable, but not viable on such rough ground in a windy area.

[Bethly can carry an amazing amount of stuff in a basket on her head, due to her years in the Peace Corps in Morrocco.]


Manual labor is never easy, no matter when or what culture. I have no illusions about good old days and fully appreciate a full tank of gas, food in the fridge and a balance in the checkbook.

dale-harriet in WI

Ah well - she might have been 75, too; hard to tell in those old pictures. Bless 'er 'eart, the auld thing. I wonder if she thought of knitting as the delightful textile pleasure we do - or if it was just *another* constant pursuit required by her daily life. But something in the picture makes me want to go over, kiss her cheek soundly and offer her a cuppa ta. (And yes, thank you for these wonderful delicious pictures, I adore them!)


what i find interesting, is that this photo was originally a postcard


Second comment on this one...this is such an educational blog! I wasn't thinking that this could be dried peat, which would weigh less. Maybe the odd posture is to balance against walking down the stairs? Or the odd shape of the load she is carrying? I still want to believe the relaxed knitting by the warm fire, though. She deserved it!


...all in a days work...they were multi-tasking before the word was invented...


I sure hope the knitting kept her mind off the load on her back at least for a little for a while.


Based on garden work, dry peat is light and bulky. Wet peat is heavy and bulky. Don't know which way it was harvested. The posture, well, it speaks for itself.


It won't be quite as heavy as it looks - they left the turves out to dry before hauling them in. And it looks like there's a sort of sturdy bustle under her skirt to take some of the weight. But no, not fun. You'd get posture problems leaning against the shoulder strap.


The heck with taking a picture, I'd want to take that basket off her back. Poor thing! I've read about how people had to collect peat, but this is the first picture. It must have weighed a ton. I hope she was able to enjoy her finished knitting project...imagine her knitting by a warm fire, after a hard day...


I'd say she was fortunate if she was as old as 40 or 50!

I would have been dead by 25 living that life.


Her poor back. Hindsight is never 20/20.


I'll remember this the next time I think I'm exhuasted...

Sandra D

Yep, and she probably produced at least one pullover "jumper" a week to earn money for things she couldn't produce herself. Which probably meant knitting late into the evenings by the peat fire.


Your pictures are always so interesting and informative!



As the song says, the good old days weren't always good. Sometimes they were, but people who rhapsodize about them have extremely selective memories.


Wonder what they would have thought of the modern LYS, qiviut, and cashmere?


There's a reason they died young.


Could this be where the phrase "junk in the trunk" originated?


Ouch! And this dear old soul may have only been in her forties or fifties - I don't think I'm up to carrying bundles that weigh half as much as I while knitting away.

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