The world of consumerism is moving so fast they're bringing back things I didn't know had died.
Take, for example, the newest catalog from The Vermont Country Store.
On the first page, there’s an ad for “Dr. Carelton’s elixir: an all-natural blend of ginger, turmeric, and tart cherries, guaranteed to cure your aches and pains.”
The elixir is supposed to "relieve everything from rheumatism and nervousness to consumption," but note it was not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Doesn’t that tell you this is your ticket to the world of the past?
You know those reusable vinyl covers with elastic that fit over bowls to keep food fresh? We used these when I was a girl. They're "back!" No more wrestling to get an air-tight grip with Saran wrap!
And, what about Clark Bars? I hadn’t noticed those were gone until the Vermont Country Store brought them back. I did notice Nabisco had stopped making the cookies we always called Fly Biscuits (because the raisins looked like squashed flies. ) Here they are, rechristened Garibaldi Biscuits. I’m sending for some.
Do you miss your old rotary dial telephone? Never fear, the Country Store can sell you a 1930s style black desk phone, a wall phone or a Slimline phone from the 1960s.
I haven’t bought an old phone, but I did purchase the Desk Phone Flipper.
It's one of those magnetic cases that holds 400 phone numbers. There's a magnifier on the front. Slide it down to the letter of the alphabet you need and, bingo!, it opens up right to the page containing your person. Just as fast, IMHO, as fidgeting around on your not-so-smart phone to look up a friend's number. (Oh, IMHO is young-people speak for "in my humble opinion.")
In the catalog, you'll also find a small army of wind up alarm clocks—round ones, square ones, some with a bell on top and one that folds up into a leatherette case. I think I’ve owned one of each of these.
During World War II, my mother used to take cream from the top of milk bottles and shake it up in a jar to make butter. Today, you just buy some cream and the Handy Churner from the Country Store which comes with instructions and a recipe. Tempted?
The beauty and makeup section always draws me in. I linger over perfumes from the past like Blue Grass which I wore as a teenager, Arpege which I wore as a young married and White Shoulders which I always meant to buy.
Remember Frownies and Wrinkies, little paper paste-ons that were supposed to banish your wrinkles? You can still buy them here. I’ve got a box in my bathroom closet, but I must admit I still have wrinkles.
My favorite purchase is the Country Store’s box of triple milled soap. They have exotic scents like apple cider and egg white, but I always choose lilac, lemon verbena and lavender. I almost sent for their Silver Savior Soap which claims it contains 99.9 per cent pure silver. Does it make your skin gleam?
You can skip the clothes section, as most of the women’s outfits look as if they were designed for someone ready to milk a cow. The muumuu lives on in these pages, as does the half slip and flannel pajamas.
The back page touts the Gilhoolie, which clamps onto jar lids to open them. I use it every day. And will continue to do so, until my order of Dr. Carelton’s elixir comes in. I'll let you know if it cures my arthritis.