Welcome ...

All too many times overwhelmed caregivers are physically and emotionally depleted and need to take time to rest and care for themselves. Believing in a holistic approach to caregiver stress and a strong commitment to helping our members find the right solutions, we created this blog to help you connect with others who, like you, may be facing the same eldercare issues and challenges. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and submit articles. Please forward the blog link to your family and friends. They'll be glad you did.

Warm regards,

Patricia Grace
founder & CEO
Aging with Grace

Friday, March 27, 2009

How a word can make us smile and take us back…

In February I posted Music Soothes the Soul and Takes Us Back… and the power of music and songs to trigger memories many years old. Just as music can take us back to different times in our life so can words.

Last week I walked into my favorite nail salon to get a mani/pedi and sitting there waiting, was an elderly woman and her middle aged daughter. I’m guessing that the woman was mid 80’s and the daughter late 50’s or early 60’s. As I was “soaking” I overheard the mom say to the daughter “when we leave here I want to go to Macy’s and get a housecoat.” I started to chuckle. The word housecoat immediately catapulted me back to my teen years when I would run down the stairs in my underwear (at that time underwear consisted of a bra, underpants, girdle, pettipants and a slip – don’t ask!) to iron a white oxford button down collared blouse to wear under my V-neck sweater with my pleated skirt. Now if you are in your late 50’s or early 60’s all of you are smiling and remembering this scene! As I would thunder down the stairs, past my dad who was sitting in “his chair,” he would call out to my mom, “Lil does this kid have a housecoat?” As I am writing this I am laughing out loud because the scene was always the same. My mother would answer,” yes, Bud she has a housecoat.” It wasn’t a robe or a bathrobe…it really was a housecoat. It had a collar and buttoned down the front…just like a coat. It was old lady-like so I never wanted to wear it.

Sitting there in the nail salon, hearing that woman use the word housecoat, brought back great memories of being a teenager. I was very fortunate to have a really great dad…my mom was good too, but not like my dad! All of my friends and their friends wanted to come to our house because my dad was funny and fun, but still the dad.

I hope this post will trigger a good and funny memory of your childhood. Please write and let me know what words might take you back in time.

Patricia Grace


  1. What the heck are pettipants?

  2. you were one of the lucky one's. I never wanted anyone to come to my house.

  3. Patty from PhillyMarch 31, 2009 at 1:20 AM

    Pettipants were all the rage in the early to mid 60's. They looked like bloomers...you pulled them 0n like pants but they took the place of a slip. Generally the where decorated with lace and bows and appliques. As skirts got shorter so did pettipants. However when the miniskirt became the rage, somehow modesty lost its place in fashion and the pettipant went the way of Frankie Lyman and The Teenagers and American Bandstand...

  4. "Housecoat" made me think of my mother, who would wear a brightly patterned cotton housecoat or housedress to do the cleaning. This was in the 60s and 70s. She would always change out of it into something nice before my father got home... I guess it was the early equivalent of sweatpants!

  5. Pettipants are making a great comeback with my grandkids and their little friends. They can enjoy wearing their cute dresses, yet still play as happy as can be on swings and trees without worrying that too much is showing. I'm so glad to see this trend returning. :)

  6. One thing that really sticks out in my mind from growing up in the 60s is how we used to watch TV together as a family on Sunday evenings. Almost as much fun as Ed Sullivan and Bonanza were the commercials.

    I look back with great fondness on their simplicity. Do you remember "pop, pop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is". But, my favorite was always, the little guy asking "Do you want a Hawaiian Punch?"


  7. Dale,

    I would watch Bonanza with my dad every week and as a family we would watch the Ed Sullivan show. I remember seeing Elvis debut...oh my gosh was there hoopla in my house over that...

    Indeed great memories...


Search This Blog

Blog Archive

Helpful Resources

Low Vision Therapy Services

Children of Aging Parents (CAPS)

Well Spouse Association

U.S. Administration on Aging


Nursing Home Compare

Senior Safety Online

Mature Market Institute

Connections for Women

50Plus Realtor

Alzheimer's Speaks

Official VA Website