No one could blame Liu Xiuyun, because everyone’s life is too difficult.
In the past ten years, the movement of “Study Agriculture from Dazhai” has been carried out in rural areas all over the country. Rural areas eat big pots of rice. Every farmer is a member of the community and has to participate in labor to earn work points.
Each production team sets its own work points. Ten work points for doing work for a day, and the approved work points per day were different for each person of different gender and age.
This was an era of rebuilding. The land was barren, productivity was low, and the population was large, so the brigades had to pay for the work after collecting the grain. Only after the work is delivered can the remaining grain be distributed according to the approved work points of each member.
A young wife like Liu Xiuyun can’t do much heavy work, so she will only be paid six or seven worth of work points a day. This is because Dayu village relies on the mountain to draw water. In addition to grain, there are also some mountain goods, fish and shrimp, water chestnuts, etc. that can be exchanged with supply and marketing cooperatives every year.
The most important point is that, at the end of the year, the work points will be deducted from the money for rations, and the rest will go to each person, so every family was living in a tight situation, not to mention eating eggs and meat, it is not easy to eat enough food.
The three hens in the family lay three eggs a day. The Dong family conditions were not bad, and they didn’t sell the eggs for money. In addition to the confinement wife and young children, the family can also occasionally eat eggs and have a large and sumptuous meal.
But the Dong family has more than a dozen mouths. Three eggs a day must not be enough. Liu Xiuyun remembers that she ate eggs a few months ago.
She also knows that from the days when her sister-in-law was saved from jumping into the river, Mother-in-law secretly gave Dong Jiahui a lot of food, be it eggs, white flour, brown sugar. Her treatment towards her was like taking care of a person who was in confinement.
Liu Xiuyun has thoughts in her heart, but she is not stupid. She cannot show them in front of the family. At most, she could go back to their room to talk to her husband, so she doesn’t look much different from usual.
The three daughters-in-law of the Dong family are not bad in character. The eldest daughter-in-law Zhou Yindi and the third daughter-in-law Zhao Lijuan were sisters at her mother’s house. They are generous and know how to give in. As for Liu Xiuyun, she is neither big nor small in her mother’s house. The children in the middle are most likely to be ignored by their parents. In addition, the conditions in her mother’s house are not good. She had lived a hard life as a child, starving and suffering from a cold. Therefore, she was more concerned about gains and losses, and she cared more about what to eat and wear.
After Dong Jiahui’s health improved, she helped out at home every day with household chores, washing clothes, cooking, feeding the chickens, and organizing the vegetable patch.
That day, the second nephew came home with a blue nose and a swollen face. There was a big cut on his clothes, and the cotton inside was falling out. Liu Xiuyun looked at it and was furious. His jacket was newly made for the Chinese New Year. He had only been wearing it for more than a month, but it was messed up by Chuízi!”
She took a rolling pin from the kitchen with a black face and chased after Chuízi to beat him up.
“You stinky boy, you were born to collect debts. If I don’t beat you for a day, you feel itchy, right? See if I don’t break your legs!”
Chuízi was seven years old. It is the age where a child hates to stand still. How could he stand obediently waiting for his mother to beat him up? His two legs ran faster than a rabbit. He ran out of the far door in a blink of an eye and made a face at his mother before he left.
Liu Xiuyun patted her chest to catch her breath. She pointed at the Chuízi fiercely and said, “Wait for me, smelly boy. If you have the ability, do not come back today. If you come back, I will let your father smoke you. “
“The holes are too big, and I’m afraid it won’t look good when sewn up.”
If the clothes are broken, you can find another piece of cloth to patch them up. If you have such a big hole, and it is not in a straight line, It is equivalent to pulling a small piece of cloth down.
A few sisters took Chuizi’s clothes and said it was difficult to sew. With this one, it was even more difficult to sew. It is a pity that these new clothes were broken. These days, it is not easy to get a piece of cloth.
Not to mention that each person only has a cloth ticket of 5 feet per year. This cloth ticket is only enough for adults to sew a suit of clothes and trousers. There can be some clothes left for children, but in spring, summer, autumn and winter, they wear long sleeves in spring and autumn, short sleeves in summer and cotton-padded jackets in winter. What can this cloth that measures five feet do?
In addition to cloth tickets, it also costs money to buy cloth. This year, the Dong family only made a new cotton-padded jacket for six children, and none of the adults in the family wanted to buy clothes.
She thought that spring would soon begin in the new year. The cotton-padded clothes should be put away for at most two or three months. As long as the clothes are not broken, they can continue to wear them for next year’s new year.
Even if it becomes smaller for their body, it can be transferred to the younger sister in law, so it is not wasted at all.
It was a good plan. The new clothes could be patched in the blink of an eye. No wonder Liu Xiuyun’s face looked terrible.
When Liu Xiuyun frowned and was at a loss, Dong Jiahui came over with a smile.
“Second sister-in-law, why don’t you let me try.”
Liu Xiuyun looked at Dong Jiahui suspiciously, and the other sisters-in-law looked at each other.
“You can mend it?”
Liu Xiuyun was a bit unconvinced, when she married into the Dong family, Dong Jiahui was still in her maidhood. She was not very talkative. Until Dong Jiahui married Lu’s family at the age of eighteen, she never revealed her needlework skills.
“There should be no problem. If my sister-in-law believes in me, then let me try.”
Liu Xiuyun handed the clothes to Dong Jiahui with confidence, and after handing them out, she was unsure and explained, “Don’t try to be a hero if you can’t, I’ll spend money to find a tailor in town.”
Do not spoil the clothes.
“I know, sister-in-law, don’t worry.”
Dong Jiahui heard Liu Xiuyun’s words and did not get angry, since she opened her mouth, she naturally had full assurance.
Her grandmother was from Suzhou, and it is said that she used to be in a very prestigious family in Suzhou, but her family had fallen and fled to the countryside to marry her grandfather during the chaotic times, and her grandmother had a very good hand in Su embroidery, and she taught this skill to Dong Jiahui.
Dong Jiahui took Chuizi’s clothes back to her room. which was originally a miscellaneous room for the family to pile up miscellaneous things. This room was originally a utility room where things were piled up at home. After Dong Jiahui came back, Chen Guixiang asked the family to clean it up and made a bed board for her to make a small bed.
Her parents are both highly educated and her family is considered middle class, and she is the only daughter of the family, so she is said to have been spoiled by her family since childhood.
But people have to learn to adapt to their environment no matter what kind of environment they are in, and this is the case with the living environment in this era. To have a bed to sleep in and a place to shelter from the wind and rain is already a great blessing.
When Dong Jiahui came out with the clothes, everyone was shocked.
“Hey? I really can’t see it. Jiahui, when did you have these crafts?”
Not only was the hole sewn up, but there was no trace of it. If you didn’t know where it was broken in advance, you may not be able to find it if you don’t look for it carefully.
“It’s not much of a craft, but I’ve been thinking about it when I’m not doing anything.”
Dong Jiahui faintly changed the subject, but the Dong family did not think much of it. They all thought it was a skill she learned after marrying the Lu family.
“This skill is more than enough to be a tailor.”
These days, craftsmen are very popular. There are tailors at the cloth sales counter of the supply and marketing agency, who can help make clothes and sew and repair people’s clothes. According to everyone, even if you send this dress to the tailor, the mending effect is not necessarily better than that of Dong Jiahui.
“Jiahui, your sewing skills are progressing fast. I remember when I asked you to mend socks, you couldn’t do it well.”
Zhao Lijuan, the third sister-in-law, was quick to speak. When she said this, she knew it was wrong. She hurried to see Dong Jiahui’s expression for fear of stimulating her.
Before Dong Jiahui got married, she couldn’t even sew a button neatly. Now she is so good at it. So how did she improve so quickly?
“It’s okay, it’s over, I’m not upset at all.”
Seeing the cautious eyes of the crowd, Dong Jiahui smiled and made her attitude clear, but everyone did not believe that she was really not sad anymore, they just thought she was forcing a smile.
Chen Guixiang averted her eyes. She wanted to cry when she thought of her daughter’s suffering in the Lu family.
“All right, since the clothes have been mended, let’s eat.”
She concealed it in the corner of her eye, Chen Guixiang asked everyone to eat, a simple cornflour lump soup. A lump was added together with salty vegetables, making it salty and very appetizing. Even the smallest Xiao Man ate a small bowl.
“Where is Chuizi? It’s already dark and he has still not come back?”
Dong Aimin drank two big bowls of lumpy soup before he realized that his eldest son, Chuizi was not at home.
“Why do you care about him? Are you afraid that he is hungry? “
Because the clothes are mended, Liu Xiuyun’s heart has been half angry, but Chuizi has always been naughty, and he has done a lot of wrong things. Even his mother didn’t have much patience.
“There’s a bowl of soup left in the kitchen. Tell him when he comes back.”
Chen Guixiang knocked on the table and gave an explanation. Every meal at home had the right amount. The number of people at the table was roughly estimated at how much each person ate to ensure that no one went hungry. Chuizi was still not home at mealtime, and he can’t miss a bite of his food. These days, no one has any leftover food, so where else can you go to fill your stomach if you don’t come back for dinner?
Hello, I'm Lucia, and I love novels with themes from the 70s, 80s, and ancient eras. Therefore, I will mainly focus on translating novels from these time periods. If you have any recommendations for novels you'd like me to read and translate, please don't hesitate to send me a direct message on my Discord. Thank you!