Mothers and Sweethearts

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Our family has long been fascinated by the history of the home front during World War II. It was the theme of the second of Mary Evelyn’s Homeschool Dramatic Society plays, Faith is the Victory, back in 2000.

Wow! That was a long time ago. I just counted 22 children that I can think of off the top of my head who now call members of this cast Mama or Daddy.

One of the booths that intrigued me at the Tennessee Maneuvers Remembered festival in Carthage, Tennessee, on Saturday was one belonging to Pam Rowden of Austin, Indiana.

Mrs. Rowden has been collecting vintage clothing since she was a teenager. A close relative told her that she should get rid of her “junk” because no man would want to marry her and have all that stuff in his house. That was before she met her future husband, Andy, who was already a collector of Army uniforms. Pam and Andy turned out to be the perfect match. They store their collection in their basement where he has a reproduction World War II military office.

Mrs. Rowden calls her business WWII Home Front. The first item that drew me to her booth was this cute little guy. I love that face.

I pondered what this item could be until I suddenly realized that it is a clothespin holder. I keep my own clothespins in this vintage clothespin holder . . .

. . . and use it every week on my indoor clothes drying racks.

Soldiers purchased gifts decorated with military insignia for their mothers and sweethearts. When I started to take a photo of this handkerchief for a soldier’s mother, . . .

. . . Mrs. Rowden wanted me to be sure I got a picture of the special, never-used gift box that accompanied it.

The handkerchief brings back special memories for me because somewhere around here, I have a fancy satin pillow cover decorated with the word Mother. My daddy gave it to his mother while he was in the service during the Korean War.

This red sweetheart purse caught my eye, . . .

. . . but the one Mrs. Rowden seemed most proud of was this one.

Inside was a mirror, a comb, and other details that I am not sure how to identify. Perhaps the canister held lipstick or possibly pills.

Patterns were an everyday part of my life as a girl and of the lives of many girls and women of the 1950s and 1960s. Mother used them to make her dresses, my dresses, and dresses for her many customers.

Shortages of many items were a regular part of life during World War II. Notice the length of these dresses. Dress styles became shorter because shorter dresses used less fabric.

Men and women had to make, repair, and mend what they could. This booklet helped women do this “for victory.”

Both Ray’s mother . . .

. . . and my mother were the sweethearts of soldiers.

God blessed them both by making them mothers, too. Sweethearts and mothers are precious, God-designed roles, roles we should teach our daughters and our sons to cherish. As a mama you can teach your daughters:

. . . to love their husbands, to love their children, 
to be sensible, pure, workers at home,
kind, being subject to their own husbands,
so that the word of God will not be dishonored.
Titus 2:4a-5

You can encourage your sons:

. . . to love their own wives as their own bodies.
He who loves his own wife loves himself; 
for no one ever hated his own flesh,
but nourishes and cherishes it,
just as Christ also does the church, 
because we are members of His body.
Ephesians 5:28b-30








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