“A GOOD PLACE to have a MEAL”

“Are WE Ready …YET?”


Getting ready for  any “Holiday Meal” starts with having the “DINING ROOM” ready!

“A holiday is a day set aside by custom or by law on which normal activities, especially business or work including school, are suspended or reduced.”

The  above photo is of the  “DINING ROOM” on the “BOY’s” side of the German St. Vincent’s Orphanage…in Normandy, Missouri.  

That table at the far  right corner of  this room … is the table where my two brothers and I would have our meals.

If you were the photographer taking this photo – you  are only getting to see where the children sit… for their meals.

Behind the photographer… is the working part of getting  each meal  served to the children.

On the back wall, are the cabinets –  that hold all  of the dishes…large plates that are used for the dinner meal  and served at 12 noon each day… the cups and saucers that each child had for the milk that was served at each meal…the bowls  were for the hot cereals for breakfast and sometimes the bowls were used for Supper,  when we would receive puddings  and there was a dessert size plate used for Sunday breakfast, when each child received a nice piece of  “coffee cake” hand made in the “HOME”  bakery… where “Sister Augustella”  was in charge and several of  the older girls would work –  because….  when I was older – I would make it a   regular   part of my spare time to be there and help, as she was so nice to work for!

Also, what you are not able to see, and… I  do not believe that any photos were ever taken… was a stainless steel  sink, a long three compartment work table for  the complete clean-up – for the washing and then the rinsing  of  the dishes to be  done by  the children working in the dining room. Also long tables to set with the large containers for food, that was being served at that meal.

They would get each and every dish  collected from the tables –  after each meal… washed… drying, till then hand dried with towels and each clean dish put into the cabinets, stacked in the correct place,  and all to be used for the preparation of the next meal.

The tables would  be washed by some of the girls… who would have the assigned charge of working in the dining room for a six month period and  there were  maybe ten to twelve girls assigned for this job –  working before and after each meal.

When I was there, “Sister M. Emeline” had the charge of the  dining room on the “BOY’s” side –  and I always thought,  that she was the best of the NUNS – – to work for.

There were a few of the NUNS that I kept in touch  with, long after leaving  St. Vincent’s,  as they were so good to all of the children, that I even took a couple  of those NUNS to my home, for a visit for that day, including having a meal at my house, and would  you believe … that even  they wanted to roll up their sleeves and help with the washing of  the dishes.

Like I always said… some of the NUNS were always the BEST of Friends!

Posted in Childhood, Grandma, Today and tagged with 2 comments.


  • Chris says:

    Thank you for the post. Kids cleaning up after themselves? Amazing idea! I think my generation (Gen X) had low expectations for our children when it came to chores such as cleaning-up. We never had a dishwasher in our home when I was growing up. My kids have never lived in a house without one.

    • Mary Ellen says:

      Thanks for keeping an eye on what I am writing… thought that I would write more about those years when we were at the HOME. And also to find old photos to go along with. This last week of this month, I am starting on my 11th years of writing… thanks to my Grandson Alan, as he did set this up for me and I am giving all the family stories of what I did do and the where … when, and they will a place to check out forever… on all the family.

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