CPR Section House

CPR Section House

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sis Helps Again

 As was usual for Mum , she did her best to 'prettify' her home even if it was in a CPR Section house . By the time our family had moved to Larchwood , the company had relaxed the rules for interior decoration . Now , a section family could paint the interior walls whatever colour desired...but the CPR would only provide free paint in their official colours . The exterior must have the look of CPR property ...no exceptions . Of course , since section men were the lowliest of employees , the 'working poor' class , most did not exercise this great freedom granted by the company . They couldn't afford it .

almost like new when it was purchased in 1951
  Mum was never put off by such stumbling blocks as she had proved time and again . She bought a secondhand Singer treadle sewing machine on which she churned out sheets , tea towels , diapers and clothing with bulk orders of fabric from Montreal . She knitted socks , mittens , hats and sweaters with wool she ordered in bulk from Montreal . And she crocheted antimacassars to spruce up the chesterfield and doilies to enhance tables and dressers with crochet cotton she purchased in bulk from Montreal . It was not unusual for my sister and I to be dressed identically , or all of Dad's worksocks to be the same colour as our sweaters minus the puppy motif.

 There was still a market among section men for her handmade socks , hats and work mitts . She was never without some sort of needle in hand churning out items throughout the year to be sold when winter winds started blowing away the fall . There were still people to buy blueberry pies in the summer ; and wives who craved just one little doily with a pineapple motif for some honored position in their homes .

Mum bought a S&P sets as a decadent treat for herself. 
 The accumulated profits were divvied up into two jars - one for the next bulk order and the other for purchasing those special items that couldn't be made . That was how she bought the treadle machine , treasured Salt and Pepper shakers ...and ...most venturesome of all , rolls of wallpaper in a bold print to cover the livingroom walls . The rest of the house could be in official CPR colours , but she would have one room that was as far from CPR as was possible in the circumstances .

When she finally had all she required , Mum set about painting walls . She gave Sis a brush to help with the painting and her own spot to paint . And she put me in the middle of the floor to roll at will - my main mode of selfpropulsion at the time .

When the wallpaper had been hung , Mum was extremely happy with the result . She transferred the work debris into the kitchen for cleaning up . By the time she returned , Sis , still hard at work helping , had painted a 'lovely' stripe about two feet from the floor all around the room- across Mum's hard-earned wallpaper . She was deflated! Unlike modern latex , oil paint could not simply be washed away with soap and water . It was there to stay .

" It's pretty eh Mum?" Sis beamed .
"Yes , its pretty " groaned Mum .

Meanwhile , I , who had been actively rolling from wall to wall had picked up a great deal of paint on my journey . Mum carried me to the kitchen for cleanup . " Tina's not pretty eh Mum?"
" No , she certainly isn't right now ."

The painted stripe was left to dry .

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