Living history: Seniors teach kids how things used to be

Published 10:43 am Thursday, July 28, 2022

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There is a lot of knowledge to be gained from living a long life.

Recently, some Davie senior citizens shared that knowledge at a “Living History Day” at Cognition of Davie.

“This event was exciting, fun, intergenerational, and most importantly, taught everyone something new,” said Carrie Miller, senior services events coordinator.

Cognition Davie staff and Senior Services staff welcomed the participants before Miller talked about what Senior Services is and about activities they could participate in when they are older.

The folks were broken into groups where they were able to experience quilting, spinning, butter making, and wood carving.

Marie Craig, member of the Senior Services quilting group, talked about quilting and how it is linked to genealogy.Craig showed a quilt that is more than 100 years old. The children and Craig talked about how patterns were made, and she showed them a book of patterns.

Once they got the idea of how a pattern works, each child was able to make their own quilt pattern with cut out paper squares. Craig often exclaimed that each person had the same pieces and all of their patterns were all unique and different.

They learned about spinning wool from Kim Buterbaugh. Each participant was given a piece of wool to stretch and twist to show how wool is made into yarn. Buterbaugh demonstrated techniques and showed the children how to brush the fibers and eventually they were able to see how the spinning wheel operates. The experience was hands on and several children wanted to return to the station after finishing all activities.

Kim Shuskey, director of aging and adult services, taught the children how to make butter. Each child received a small Mason jar of heavy whipping cream, and they had to shake the jar until the cream became butter. When the butter was ready, it turned a yellow color and was whipped-style. The remaining liquid was buttermilk. Once the butter was finished, each child tried their creation on a piece of French bread and talked about why it tasted different than at home – no salt was in the butter.Some of the kids were so excited they even ate the butter straight from the jar. Everyone was able to take their butter home with them to show off to their families.

Tim Trudgeon, instructor of the senior services woodcarving group, taught the children how to carve Ivory bars of soap. (Ivory soap is the softest soap and the only soap that floats.) This activity was hands on and the children were able to choose designs such as pigs, hearts, turtles, boats, and more. Trudgeon made knives out of large Popsicle sticks and each child was able to carve their bars of soap to take home. They were able to take home an extra knife and pattern to try it again at home.

“Senior Services would like to thank everyone in the community who participated in this event and made it so special for the first Living History Day partnership with Cognition Davie,” Miller said.

Any questions about upcoming events at Senior Services? Give them a call at 336-753-6230 or stop by the Main Campus, 278 Meroney St., Mocskville, or the Brock Campus, 644 N. Main St., Mocksville.