My grandmother came from a family of nine brothers and sisters and loved to share the story of food on a rope from her childhood.
Her mother (my great-grandmother) was a homemaker – staying home to raise the children in their tiny North Bergen, New Jersey apartment, while her husband went to work as a furniture re-finisher.
Money was always tight, as were the sleeping quarters. It wasn’t uncommon to have two or three children sharing a bed. My grandmother used to always tell me how cold her sister’s feet used to be or how she was always crying about something when they were trying to go to sleep. Another story she told over and over was that of food on a rope.
You see their apartment was on the second story, and when the children were down playing in the yard it really didn’t make much sense for them all to come up for lunch (besides nine children at lunchtime in a tiny apartment is like the morning rush at IHOP I’m sure).
So my great-grandmother would put their lunch in a bucket, tie a rope to the handle and lower it down to the children playing in the yard (hence food on a rope).
Could you imagine that today? With most ten year old’s carrying cell phones and probably more money in their pockets than I have right now, they’d simply call for take-out before eating anything out of a bucket.
Never forget that memories and stories you can look back on and smile about are worth everything in life.