Monday, November 22, 2010

earlier times.....

I was trying upload a picture of me with my Mom's Mother at a picnic but my blog would not allow it. I need to find out how to change how pictures are saved and/or scanned from things like .gif and .tif to .jpg or .jpeg. I'm thinking I was 6 years old in this picture which means Rose would have been around 13, Saundra around 1 and Ruth around 9. I'm almost positive Mama had my Aunt Parylee cut mine and Ruth's hair in short bobs before I started to school or this may have been right around the time I started and she cut our hair later. We were visiting with my Aunt in Raleigh when they lived in a pretty stone house near the State Fair grounds when they were building the big coliseum. We went over to the building site with our cousins and played on the concrete slabs that hold up the building. My older sisters and cousins would walk up as far as they could. As I recall, most of my memories of going there were good even though I was still in that period of my life when I was scared of my own shadow and very seldom spoke - even when spoken to. I know, I know - you can't believe it but it's true. One thing I can assure you of is we were all very well behaved - especially when my Daddy was anywhere around. :-) That means we were still living in the old farm house before moving to town for a year because that is where we lived when I started school. I was terrified of getting on the bus, going to the wrong class, getting lost going to the rest room, getting on the wrong bus coming home, missing my stop coming home,...... you get the picture. I do remember that house though - can remember how the rooms were laid out, where my sister taught me my numbers, ABC's and how to write my name in the dirt before I started school, how Ruth would get in trouble for eating dirt (she loved dirt), when the man would bring coal for our big stove in the living room we ran to in the morning on cold mornings and the wonderful meals my Mama made in the big kitchen. Mama would french braid my hair tight enough to last more than a day - ouch - remember that too. We had an outhouse there but I only had to use it during the day when someone would go with me and at other times, we had a room with a Chamber Pot I was young enough to use - thank goodness. Mama got a washing machine on wheels while we lived there but before then I do remember her washing our clothes in a big tin basin with a scrub board and a big cake of Ivory Soap. We all took our baths in that big tin tub too. Mama would put it in the kitchen where it was warm, heat water up on the stove and fill it up. The two oldest girls got their baths first then me and Ruth would be put in the big tub together. After we went to bed, Mama and Daddy took their baths. OH - I forgot to mention - our landlady wouldn't let Mama use the water from the kitchen tap for anything but cooking and drinking. All other water had to be pumped up at an old pump down the hill from out house. Think about how many trips it took to fill that tub up for washing clothes or little bodies. During the week Mama would heat up water in a basin and stand us up in the kitchen chair and scrub us from head to toe until we were pink but the bath in the tub was a treat. Sometimes in the summer, my Daddy would just fill the old barrel at the pump with water and take a cold bath down there and then pour it out. Believe me - that old pump didn't look this good and Daddy would have to almost beat it to death sometimes to get it to work. He was determined to get us away from that kind of life and that's why we moved into town when Mama started working at the factory. We lived in town long enough for them to save money to buy the big old farmhouse I lived in until after I graduated. The first thing Daddy did was put in a bathroom - THANK YOU DADDY! Of course after the clothes were washed and rinsed, they had to be hung on the clothesline to dry which when you look at most pictures look so pretty with the sun shining, the wind blowing, blah, blah, blah. So many times it was more like this with the clothes freezing at times and having to be brought back in and hung all around the stove to dry. Even this picture doesn't tell the real story of how dark, cold and raw it would get. Mama really spoiled us and didn't make us do enough of these hard chores for her. By the time we got home from school, she would be at work and we only had to bring the clothes in - THANK YOU MAMA! Think how cold it must have been handling those wet clothes on those cold days. She would always have a homemade treat waiting on the kitchen table for us and we would get a phone call not long after we walked in the door reminding us to do our homework. I always hated getting off the bus knowing Mama was at work and used to tell myself I would try never to work and have my children come home to an empty house. It wasn't that I was mad at her or blamed her - I just really wanted her to be there when I walked in the door. As I recall now, she would also call later in the night to remind us to wash the dishes and get to bed early - NOT. Daddy came home every evening after work and after supper, he would fall asleep in the rocking chair watching TV and we would do our homework while watching TV and be as quiet as little mice to stay awake as long as we could. When it got close to 11pm, we would tip toe off to bed. I wish I could say I didn't have to work full time and my kids didn't have to come home to an empty house but as we grow up, we have to face the same realities our parents did. On the flip slide - it turns out BigD was home a lot more than I realized and was in and out during the day even in the summer time. It was only when my company sold and I started working from home that I found out just how early he would get home or how often he didn't even leave the house so it doesn't hurt my feelings anymore that my kids didn't seem to be bothered by the fact I worked such long hours. :) Most of my jobs didn't last too long and I would hire someone to be with them after school or full time but when I started working full time in my last job, it became apparent it was going to last. Page became a teenager and took on more responsibility which I think she liked much better than having someone else be here. So even though they didn't miss me being here when they got home - I missed it - more than they will ever know. That is why I eventually paid someone to clean my house once a week - I wanted to be free to be with my kids without stress. The down side to that is I now HATE housework and can't afford to have someone clean once a week! What a spoiled rotten brat I am- when I think of how my Mom and her Mom before her and their Mom's before them had to work so hard to do in a day what we can do in a few minutes - it makes me ashamed of myself. Don't get excited - it doesn't mean I'm going to all of a sudden love housework but I'm going to try to not whine about it so much - whine - hmmm - maybe if I had a glass of wine, housework would come easier? No? Oh - okay.


  1. Not that I have had to endure washing my clothes by hand and hanging them to dry for years on end, but I can certainly understand the clothes freezing. On more than one occasion, my dryer has broken in the winter time and for quite a while I had to hang them up outside on a fake clothes line, only to bring them in and hang them all over the kitchen to thaw and dry...not very fun, and it helped me to appreciate the women in the past and modern conveniences of today. :)

  2. used to hang mine out all the time. many times they froze and had to be thawed out at night or left for the next days sun.


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