Weighted Down but Weighing Less

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, May 12, 1912:  Went to Sunday School this morning. I had to go equipped with an umbrella. Carrie was over this afternoon. Catherine Rhone came down. We went after some lilacs and I guess we were well weighted down with them. I was weighed today weighing one pound less than I did a month ago. It is raining cats and dogs tonight.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Sometimes I absolutely love Grandma’s train of thought. She was writing about picking lilacs with her friends Carrie Stout and Catherine Rhone—and said that they were “weighted down” by the lilacs. That apparently reminded her that she’d lost a pound of weight. She seemed pleased—I wonder if teens worried about their weight back then like they do now.

10 Responses

  1. Oh those lilacs. Nothing like their fragrance. A favorite of my mother-in-law and her mother as well.

    • I have a lilac bush about 20 ft. from the house. On warm days, when it is blooming, I love to open the window and let the wonderful fragrance drift in.

  2. I love lilacs, too. Here in Wisconsin they are already over – they came so early this year.

  3. They probably wished for those tiny waists and hour-glass shapes we saw in the dress illustrations.

    • Probably–They probably wanted to be naturally slender. I think that a hundred years ago was getting towards the end of the era where women wore tight corsets to get the hour-glass shapes. I’ve seen several articles in 1911 and 1912 issues of Ladies Home Journal and Good Housekeeping magazines that discussed the health dangers of tight corsets.

  4. At her age, Helena probably was pleased with the one pound loss in weight. I think that concerns with weight have followed all women through time. :)

    • You’re probably right. I’ve seen references in hundred year old issues of Ladies Home Journal and other magazines that refer to “stout” women.

  5. To record a loss of one pound! And then to compare it with the weight of lilacs…I do like this post. :)

    • Sometimes I’m glad that I’m no longer a teen. The loss (or gain) of just one pound no longer seems like that big a deal.

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