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Author Topic: Six Days Make One Week  (Read 1637 times)
islandboy
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« on: December 18, 2009, 02:40:42 PM »

This is an story about the good ole days, I thought you might enjoy.  It was written by Colleen Reece.

Seven days make one week. But the schedules my mother and grandmother used to keep remind me of an old adage: "six days like this make one week." I grew up before electricity, and the week was as inevitable as death and taxes and neither was allowed to interfere.
Wash on Monday, iron on Tuesday, Clean on Wednesday, mend on Thursday, Hoe on Friday, bake on Saturday, Rest on Sunday, wash on Monday.

Monday.
When I got up for school on Monday, signs of the washing to follow were already evident. The wood cookstove was blazing. Twin galvanized boilers were steaming. Work clothes were soaking. Bleach and bluing assailed my nostrils as I ate breakfast, eyeing the big bar of hard yellow scrub soap and the wringer it took two of us to turn when overalls went through. After school I helped hang clothes on the strong steel wires strung between two posts or two young trees. I could also count on having at least two fingers "bitten" by those spring-loaded clothespins. None of the slip-on type that could also slip off and drop clothes to the ground. We propped the lines in the middle with a sapling when we did blankets and heavy clothes. In winter, they "freeze-dried" until the long underware stood by itself in the kitchen. Of course, summer snapped them so dry they had to be sprinkled and rolled for hours.

« Last Edit: December 18, 2009, 02:42:14 PM by islandboy » Logged

Be not weary in your serving; Do your best for those in need; Kindness will be rewarded by the Lord who prompts the deed.
islandboy
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2009, 02:50:42 PM »

Tuesday.
Another raging fire, this time with three "sad irons" heating. A wooden clamp-on handle, a wet finger sizzling against the bottom, and they were ready. Everything was starched, and the number of shirts and blouses I scorched before learning the fine art of ironing equalled the national debt.

Wednesday.
Was cleaning day. Saturdays got a lick and a promise but Wednesdays. Ceilings, floors, walls, windows. More boilers of hot water. Suds, wax, aching backs and pride of work well done. Wednesday suppers were usually stews racy with onions, or a pot of beans cooked on the back of the stove. There wasn't time for "fancies" on Wednesdays.

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Be not weary in your serving; Do your best for those in need; Kindness will be rewarded by the Lord who prompts the deed.
islandboy
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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2009, 03:08:58 PM »

Thursday.
We mended. Our overalls had patches on the patches, and I can still see Mom with her overflowing basket of socks that were interwoven with soft yarn. No lumpy darns in our socks. Our grimy feet playing in the dust proudly wore those mended stockings.

Friday.
Released us to the garden. Little fingers learned early to differentiate between weeds and vegetables, at least most of the time. Working together as a family, it didn't seem hard, especially when we knew punch and cookies waited as a reward.

Saturday.
Was a fun day. Our world was one that took seriously the admonition, "Thou shalt rest on Sunday, and keep it holy." Saturday was the preparation day. Pies, cakes, set salads. The pantry was filled. And Sunday without company was like rain without water. From ten to twenty-five, who knew? The more people who conveniently "dropped in" for dinner, the more jars of pickles, jams, and home-canned vegetables came out of our "root house" to supplement our Saturday baking.  Saturday night was also bath night. Daily sponge baths kept us neat, but Saturday night we "soaked." Ground-in elbow and heel dirt was attacked. The biggest washtub was filled with water and even on the coldest winter nights provide comfort. We dried in huge towels, wrapped ourselves in flannel pajamas and robes and sat in front of the living room wood heater, turning like roasts on spits before racing for bed and mounds of heavy, homemade quilts.
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Be not weary in your serving; Do your best for those in need; Kindness will be rewarded by the Lord who prompts the deed.
islandboy
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2009, 03:29:21 PM »

Sunday.
Was church and rest. Yet there were also other people around, with everyone helping prepare meals and do dishes afterwards. The best dishes. Linen tablecloth instead of oilcloth. Years later Mom and Dad used Sunday afternoon for drives and dinner out. It must have been a welcome change from the busy Sundays at home after hectic "weeks." Now, in the middle of "brownouts" and "blackouts," I mentally run through the same work schedule my mother and grandmother followed---but what a difference.
WASHDAY. Is any day. Toss'em in a washer, change to a dyer. You can wash any time. No pumping or heating water, no chopping and stoking a stove, no carrying off buckets of water afterwards.
IRONING. Who irons? Once over lightly on Perma-Press does it all.
CLEANING. Still exists and yet: Vacuum cleaners for the floors with rugs. Damp mops for no-wax floors without rugs. Windows, walls, furniture? New and convenient attachments for them all.
MENDING. A lost art.
HOEING and WEEDING. Seem a little ridiculous when vegetables can be purchased from a supermarket for less than it takes to grow them. Cans on shelves have replaced battalions of jars in the cellar.
BAKING. Mom and I still bake, but in an electric oven after mixing with an electric beater. I have to admit, I kind of miss adding one stick of wood at a time to keep the fire even, and turning the pans so we wouldn't get "lopsided layers" from an oven that was hotter on one side than the other.
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Be not weary in your serving; Do your best for those in need; Kindness will be rewarded by the Lord who prompts the deed.
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2009, 03:43:52 PM »

Even Sundays aren't the same. I remember being bone-tired but content on Saturday nights as I snuggled deep in my bed. Six-day work weeks did make people weak--ready to rest on Sundays. How ironic now on Saturday night to look back and wonder how I got so tired. With all my "labor-saving" devices, where's all that free time I should have? Those hours of emptiness to dream and scheme?
A few days ago our house was filled with company. Just before nine that night, the lights went off for two hours. It was great. No TV. No stereo. We talked, laughed, and told stories--to the delight of all from four-year-old David to eighty-three-year-old Mom. And I wondered....  It is predicted that the time may come when we have to return to some of the old ways of doing and making do. I shudder at the though. Yet in my more honest moments I have to admit---six days living in this world of pressure, jets, politics and rising prices, fulfills the old saying more than in my grandmother's days, and is enough to make anyone weak.
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Be not weary in your serving; Do your best for those in need; Kindness will be rewarded by the Lord who prompts the deed.
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2009, 05:00:08 PM »

Yes, it does bring back memories, simpler times.
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Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2009, 10:51:05 AM »

I used to go and spend summer's on the farm with my grandmother. On Monday's we would pull out the wringer washing machine ( on porch in summer, back kitchen in winter), and set a metal tub on a wooden bench fill it with cold water to rinse the clothes as we put them through the wringer. I remember catching my arm in the wringer once and grandmother popping it open. We would hang clothes on the line out in the yard in summer and in winter some were hung upstairs in the hall near the ceiling floor vent to dry and the overalls were hung out on the porch to freeze-dry.
On Tuesday, we would iron the clothes and mend. Grandmother would hand-sew the repairs.
On Wednesday, we would clean the house, dusting, running the vacuum, and mopping the kitchen floor. Twice a year we did Spring cleaning & Fall cleaning, a time when everything was cleaned. Walls, ceilings, windows, screens, everything one could think of was cleaned.
Thursday, Grandmother sometimes sewed, crocheted, or darned the holes in the socks.
Friday, she baked cookies, pies, or bread, depending on what was needed.
Saturday, the house was straightened up in case of company.
Sunday, Church was first and then resting, visiting with neighbors who dropped by, or free time for a walk in the woods.
Everyday, we cooked breakfast, lunch and supper. Grandmother was a really good cook and she taught me all the skills I needed to manage a household on my own. I learned all the best values of life on that little farm, and that Church in the country that was filled with love and caring, for family and others. Everyone was made to feel welcome and the whole community was like extended family. The good old days are gone but I hold to these values in my life to this day.
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Be not weary in your serving; Do your best for those in need; Kindness will be rewarded by the Lord who prompts the deed.
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« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2009, 11:19:22 AM »

We had a fairly large family, 8 of us kids. We lived in an old house that had been used as an Inn during the time that Abe Lincoln was making rounds as a traveling lawyer. We found pictures of him standing on our front porch that were published in the local paper at the time.

My parents ran a greenhouse. We had two greenhouses in the back yard, a fruit orchard and a large vegetable garden. Each of us kids had chores to do every day. We had electricity as far back as I can remember but at first it was only for lighting and the radio. We didn't have all the other niceties that some of our neighbors had. We had an outhouse (really cold in the winter) a metal tub set up in the kitchen when we took baths with the water being heated up on the top of a black and silver double oven kitchen stove. I can remember the excitement when we replaced the ice box with one that had an electric motor and compressor mounted on the top of it. When I was around 10 we moved to another house that had an indoor bathroom with a tub, sink that had running water and a water heater along with a toilet that flushed. We felt really high class then.  Grin

That house had also been an Inn at one time. Many of the rooms had been taken off and a flat roof placed over the kitchen. It was still a big 5 bed room home. The kitchen was large enough to have counters all the way around it, a table big enough to seat 12 people and still have more than enough room for to walk around it and have 2 or 3 people cooking at the same time. It also had a built in washer and dryer at the far end of it. We had a lot of family gatherings in that house. The yard was really big with a really large shade tree on one side. During the summer we had a lot of family and city gatherings under that tree. There were a lot of wedding receptions held there also both for family and friends since we had the most room for it.

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Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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