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
When will the ordeal finally be over?
I was just thinking about the ordeal I’ve been going through since Sept. 19.
Life in Stringtown was full of hard work, simple pleasures
I had a chance to visit recently with an old friend, Alene Perkins Long.
Burning bridges and the importance of relationships
“Congratulations on your new job!” You tell a co-worker who announced she would be leaving in a couple of weeks. “Where are you going?” You ask her.
“I’ve landed a job that will put this place to shame! I am so excited about leaving here. This is going to be a great chance to advance my career,” the co-worker tells you.
Ensuring children develop a habit brushing their teeth
“Are you sure you brushed your teeth?” the father asked his son. His son solemnly nodded. His father said, “Let me smell your breath.” The son obligingly opened his mouth. Finally, the father said, “I need to check and see if your toothbrush is wet.”
This type of exchange happens in many households as children often do not brush their teeth, even when told to do so. This nightly inquisition can occur less frequently if parents establish a habit in their children to brush their teeth.
Saturated fat consumption leads to abdominal fat
New research from Uppsala University shows that eating more saturated fat in the diet causes an increase in the amount of fat stored in the abdominal area in comparison with extra consumption of polyunsaturated fat.
County’s oldest consignment sale begins today
The Little Ones’ Consignment Sale, Madison County’s oldest semi-annual sale of its kind, is open to the public 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today (Friday) and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at the multi-ministry center behind United Methodist Church, West Main Street, Richmond. Marked items are half price on Saturday.
There’s more to do at the Village Trough
“I wish there was more to do here.”
Do you ever find yourself saying this sentence as you sit there bored out of your mind? Have you heard others ask it?
Well, there is something more to do now that Village Trough in Berea is staging shows with local and regional talent and preparing to open as a full dining and entertainment venue.
Let’s have a Mardi Gras party in Kentucky
It’s the time of year when the people in New Orleans celebrate a festival called Mardi Gras. Many states now do the same. Some call it “Fat Tuesday” which I have never understood till I went to New Orleans (five times) and saw all of the excitement for myself.
Beat the winter blues with meatballs
When it’s this cold outside it’s nice to warm up with some good comfort food.
I can think of few things more wonderful than the smell of simmering meatballs coming from the kitchen while I cuddle with my two young children, and a few good books, on a brisk winter day.
Taste test Thursday
The sun is shining, but the chill has returned, so I hope you made the most of the warm, sunny weather this weekend.
The spring greens are being as tentative as the warm temperatures, but there is talk of lettuce being harvested and a continued trickle of kale, pea shoots, miner’s lettuce and spinach. To make room for the spring harvests, winter squash and sweet potatoes have been marked down to $1/pound and pumpkins are only 50 cents/pound.
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