I was in my laundry room doing the wash when I got to thinking how easy it is today, even if it is time consuming.
My husband’s great-grandmother, born in the 1800s, told of the days before the system of locks were added to the Kentucky River. It was not much more than a small stream then.
Some of the Valley View women would get together and go down to the river to do their wash. They found a rock, wet the clothes in the river, scraped some lye soap lose on it and then beat it on the rock. That was real pioneer living.
In the early days, wash day was a real chore. Drawing water from the well to fill the wash tub. Bringing it to a boil.
White clothes were added to the hot water, and a stick or paddle was used to stir it around. Colored clothes went in warm water to soak a while, then stirred for the washing.
To rinse, the water had to be changed several times. The whites got a final rinse with some granules from the “blue bag” added to the water to make them extra bright. (The Blue Bag product could be used to sooth bee stings, too).
Tongs were used to remove the clothes from the water. We had a wringer washer that removed most of the water but some of our neighbors had to wring theirs out by hand.
I sometimes fed the clothes into the wringer as a child but was always warned to watch I didn’t get my arm caught in it.
Usually, your outer clothes were washed only when they got so dirty they couldn’t be sponge-cleaned any more. Underwear more often. Blankets usually once a year, when the warm weather returned.
For drying the clothes on nice days, you had ropes strung between two poles or trees. In bad weather, lines were usually strung around the kitchen and the clothes dried by the stove.
Sometimes they were hung outside and a frost would hit. That’s when you brought them in, and they’d be so stiff they could stand on there own by the stove.
Things that needed ironing were rolled up while still damp and put aside. If they dried before you had time to get to them, they would be sprinkled with water, rolled up and kept in the refrigerator until you had time for that chore. Since permanent press came along, I think the art of ironing clothes is about lost.
From the days of using a rock at the creek, to the washboard, to the washing machine has been a long journey. I’m glad I have a nice room to do mine in with running hot and cold water and electric power!
- Lifestyles & Community
It’s egg party time
I love this time of the year because eggs really do go down in price during the Easter season. I have some new recipes on how to fix eggs besides the coloring part.
Where’s the beef?
Today, the American consumer has more money to spend on the widest variety of foods than at any other time in our history.
Easter bunny's ‛eggbeater’ will fly eggs to Richmond
Who knew the Easter bunny could fly?
Skeptics can come to the Easter Eggstravaganza in Richmond’s Irvine-McDowell Park on Saturday to see for themselves. However, the bunny still doesn’t fly in bad weather. But on Monday, temperatures in the 60s with partly cloudy skies were predicted for Saturday.
We old folks have unique experiences
A friend sent this to me by e-mail, and I thought my readers would enjoy it.
Hope’s Wings volunteers need your help today
Help a local resident “get out of jail,” and in turn help men, women and children break the cycle of domestic violence in Madison and surrounding counties.
Bereans named Foster Parents of Year, Outstanding Adoptive Parent
Stephanie and Doug Gillum of Berea will be honored as Foster Parents of the Year tonight during an appreciation reception at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Puppet parade planned Saturday in Berea
The city of Berea will be celebrating Puppets in the Park on Saturday as part of the National Day of Puppetry.
Animal group seeks volunteers to assist with spay/neuter clinic
The Madison County Humane Society/Animal League for Life is reaching out to the community for help with its low-cost spay and neuter clinic.
The clinic, which operates at the HS/ALL adoption center at 128-C Big Hill Avenue, has spayed or neutered more than 2,000 dogs and cats since it opened in July 2012, according to volunteer Lynn Grove.
State funding to help keep domestic violence shelter open
Money for Madison County domestic violence intervention in the recently passed $20 billion state budget will be used to keep the Hope’s Wings shelter open.
The budget bill now awaits the governor’s signature.
Pets of the Week
This week's cat is Jett, a neutered and front declawed 5-year-old male.
This week's dog is Ace, a 2-year-old male Chihuahua mix.
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- It’s egg party time