Guest Chick Author and Fitness Instructor Lynda Bailey

In addition to writing Rockin’ Romance in Real America (and being one of my 2010 Golden Heart® sisters), Lynda Bailey is a fitness instructor debuting a fitness blog today! I can’t wait to see what tips she has to help me with exercise and lifestyle changes in my diet. Check out her blog here.

When Abigail mentioned starting a blog about what happens in the kitchen – that we can actually post to the public *wink* – the first thing I thought of was the kitchen of my childhood home in Iowa. Four ugly, yellow vinyl chairs, which were all the rage in the late 50’s early 60’s, crowded around a table in too-small-a-space. The stainless steel table had a yellowish top, which matched the chairs, and was edged with grooved aluminum. Great for digging your thumbnail into while waiting to be dismissed to go play.

I also remember that kitchen as being the epicenter of activity. It wasn’t just where meals were eaten (we didn’t have a separate dining room at the time), it was also where my sister and I did homework, where birthdays were celebrated and where my parents entertained. When I got older, and we moved to a bigger house with an actual dining room, the kitchen remained the crux of all the action. It was still where most meals were eaten and where homework was done; where the Avon lady sat and had coffee with my mom while perusing that month’s catalogue and where not only my parents continued to entertain, but where my sister and I hosted our friends when they visited as well.

I’ve thought about the differences between those kitchens and the kitchens of today. I think the biggest difference lies with the lack of intimacy. Most kitchens today don’t even host tables. Today, kitchens aren’t separate rooms, but part of “great rooms;” a combination kitchen and family room. Dining rooms are most always now formal, as are living rooms. “Great rooms” are the new epicenters of social activity. The coziness of what I experienced while growing up has disappeared. Squeezing around a kitchen table has given way to lounging about in easy chairs or on comfy sofas. Instead of lively conversation for
entertainment, folks watch the game on TV or listen to the stereo. Homework is can still be done in great rooms, but without a table, it’s considerably harder. And who even has an Avon lady who comes to your home anymore?

Now I’m not suggesting any of these differences are bad. They’re just. . . different. 🙂

What do you remember about the kitchen(s) of your youth? How is that memory different from the reality of today? Delve into your remembrance box and share. I’d love to hear from you!


25 thoughts on “Guest Chick Author and Fitness Instructor Lynda Bailey

  1. Lynda, thanks for bringing back memories! I remember striped wallpaper and sturdy brown chairs. Though now that I’m thinking more about it, I think the stripes were actually on the ceiling.

    I’m going to have to call my mom tomorrow and ask her. 🙂

  2. Abigail~
    Thanks for having me here today! Memories are great, aren’t they? They can be bigger than life and more pleasant than reality. They can be anything we want to “remember.”

  3. Lynda –
    We had one of those tables. My step father sat in the way of the stairs outside and to my basement room. I preferred the wooden table in our own version of a great room but that was for sunday dinner and holidays.

    Our kitchen was enamel blue. Tough as nails but ugly….

    Now, my own kitchen has a nook for a table, and we did Christmas dinner crowded into there. It was wonderful.

    And I save that table for holidays. LOL

    Thanks for the memories.

  4. Lynda,
    What memories this brings. We lived in the country and had a true (and huge) ‘country kitchen’ combining the kitching and dining area. We had the vinyl aluminum table w/vinyl chairs, too–ours was red.

    When holidays came bringing the extended family with them, the women gathered in the kitchen to cook and talk, while the men congregated in the living room–or, more likely, went hunting.

    My folks were horrified if any of us kids wanted to eat in front of the TV! Meals were for the table.

    Boy how things have changed 🙂

  5. Hi Lynn and Barb!
    Thanks for sharing your memories. And, yes, times they have a-changed. Not always for the best or worst. Sometimes, like I said, it’s just change.
    Hope you ladies have a great day!

  6. Growing up, life revolved around my grandma’s kitchen. My kitchen is still where I find comfort (which is not so good for my waistline). That and by escaping into books . I refuse to give up the kitchen as the center in our home. My husband and I turned our dining room into our study and we crammed my mother’s dining room set into our kitchen when she handed it down to me. My kids and grandchildren use it to eat on, color at, do homework, color Easter eggs, carve pumpkins. I putter around them, baking goodies and getting them drinks, and handing out hugs.
    My mother, I hope, would be happy at all the love happening at her table…
    Thanks for the happy trip 😉

  7. Lynda! We had the same kitchen set right there next to the window in the kitchen. I know, these sets were everywhere. It’s quite amusing to watch Retro TV shows where they use these as the Be-all, End-all example of life in the 50’s and 60’s. My parents eventually bought a new table set and my mom was quite happy to be “up with the Jones”, or in our neighborhood, we were keeping up with the Bristow’s.

    Having been raised on a ranch, most of our activities took place in the pastures, fields and barns, but our kitchen was like Home Base. Mom always knew where to find the rest of us so we’d check in with her for further instructions.

    Loved your post. Good memories!

  8. Great memories. The lady who raised me had that same table in her kitchen. We lived in the Kitchen. No seriously There was She and Uncle George’s bedroom, a bathroom and that kitchen with a really long hallway to the front door. That hall served as a pantry with shelf after shelf of home canned produce.

    She didn’t buy much from the store. flour, gritz, yeast, sugar, beans was about it.

    I can remember many rainy days sitting at her kitchen table being entertained by alternately looking out the window and by sorting her buttons, kept stored in a mason jar. She would cook on a small kerosene stove. She didn’t have an oven. I think she baked stove top in a dutch oven sort of thing.

    She would buy flour sold in a cloth sack. The woman was so thrifty she would purchase the same color sacks. Once she had three or four she had enough to make a dress for herself. She would sew a new dress recycling buttons and zippers from the last dress to die of old age.

    I never heard her complain about anything she didn’t have. She had everything she needed in that little cracker house.

  9. I remember our kitchen being narrow and long, but the entire world happened in there. It’s where Dad took the steaks out of the broiler and when Dad’s back was turned, our German Shepherd got up on his hind legs and stole one. It’s where Dad installed a dishwasher back in the days before it was standard to have one. (Cripes, I was 16 at the time; until then I’d spent years washing dishes by hand, to say nothing of the years Mom spent doing that before she passed the job off to me.) The walls were a plastic-ish paneling but in one corner, the paneling was worn to a fine shine by the adopted mutt who’d turn 3 times before settling in, waiting for my brother to pass off scraps when Mom wasn’t looking. It was where boo-boos were fixed and good news was shared, and it was the source of most laughter in the house. It really was the heart of the home.

    Oh yeah, and dinner. 🙂

    My house has a dining room that’s actually a computer room, and I insisted on a table in the kitchen. My parents’ new house doesn’t have a kitchen table per se, but it’s still where everyone gathers, even if it means standing around for hours, sharing the latest news or just being together.

    Wow. I think I’m going to go make some cookies. 🙂

    • Carla~
      Gosh, thanks so much for stopping by! Love the puppy stories! We had a daschund growing up named Salami. Hadn’t thought of her in ages. Amazing how one memory triggers so many others.
      Hope you have a great day!

  10. Lynda, thank so much for being our guest. I’m going to your blog on Thursday to see what I can learn about fitness!

  11. As usual, I’m late to the party, but I wanted to say thank you so much for prompting our mental journies down memory land, Lynda!

    My absolute favorite is of my Grandma’s kitchen wherein my mom, dad, aunts, uncles, and grandparents would suddenly start singing Delta Dawn, the harmony and melody blending perfectly. It was the best of times in my childhood and I miss the smiles and laughter of my huge family more than anything.

    Hugs for taking me back a year or two! 😉


  12. Hi there are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you need any coding expertise to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

  13. Fantastic blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely confused .. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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