Are their still those of you who remember the Good Ole Days? When the shade of a tree and the company of a neighbor helped lighten the dreary chore of family washday years ago. I remember being three years old and traveling down Speedway in Trumann in a Washtub Ringer Washtub, going to my Grandma's house, Ollie Wadlington Adams. Those were the good ole days.
Our great grandparents drying out eggshells on the back of the old wood cook stove and then crushed and fed to the hens as calcium.
Your hands were the cold and hot to test the water warming in the faithful aluminum dishpan on the stove. Homemade lye soap usually left a film on Grandmother's best cut-glass bowl.
Cleaning the lamp chimneys and gathering up old newspaper. You cupped your hand over the small end of the globe while you blew your moist breath into the other end. Or you used vinegar water to clean the soot and dust from the glass. Old newspapers always put the final polish on the job.
Fighting over who got to clean the milk cooler. This was a shallow pan in which the milk vessels were set. A damp cloth covered the jars or crocks, with its edges submerged in the water in the pan. Evaporation cooled the milk, as the water replenished the moisture in the cloth.
Then those beauty rollers to types that just still to this day can't be beat. Using the paper-covered metal closing strips from bags of coffee always made squarish curls. Then the pink foam snap closed rollers, oh yeah, don't forget the orange juice cans. Maybe they'll come back someday.
Polishing patent leather shoes with the insides of a cold biscuit.
The country roads that had motor vehicles coming down them and wandering "who" was having company?
When you would "run and get a bucket of water from the well," "pump enough water to make a jug of tea," or "bring a pail of water from the cistern".
Making fly shakers. Devices made of newspapers, folded and fastened across one end of a small stick or limb. The paper was cut in 1 or 2 inch widths, nearly up to the stick. Waved gently to and from across the table, they routed the invading insects very well.
And Heaven help if you had a ache or pain because Aunt Amy had castor oil? How you tried hard to believe Aunt Amy when she insisted castor oil went down and stayed down and was tasteless when mixed with orange juice! Not castor oil! Aunt BoBo kept a bottle, and when I first moved in to her home, it was the the first thing I noticed in the medicine cabinet. Glad I didn't throw it away; it's an antique bottle now.
Nothing better than cold pump water from a dipper. Next to the bucket on the washstand hung a dipper, sometimes it was submerged in the water in the interest of "cleanliness." He who drank from the dipper and then poured the reminder of the contents back into the bucket was in more trouble than he who sipped sparingly and threw the rest of dipperful out.
Taking your Saturday night bath. A number 3 tub was brought into the kitchen for this tradition and was a necessity. Water was warmed on the stove, and the kids were bathed, usually youngest first. No splashing was allowed, and neither was pivoting yourself "round and round" in the tub by using our soapy bottom for propulsion.
Oh, and then there's Vicks or Metholatum. Breathing fumes from Vicks or Mentholatum as a spot of it melted on top of the wood stove. A gallon on our chest with a warm towel wrapped around, then under your nose to clear up a stuffy head! Always worked.
Mail order catalogs. How you would look for the prettiest girls and guys to make paper dolls from the catalogs. A wish list for Christmas and circle the items in red for Christmas.
Home haircuts and perms. And how lucky you felt to have an aunt who really could cut hair. Kids were caught, lined up, and threatened to await their turn in the kitchen chair in the backyard. Scissors and a slender black comb brought respectability back to countless cousins. Then there were the homemade perms, you never knew if you were going to look like a poodle or Shirley Temple.
Nickel popcorn and nickle coke from Bennet's Grocery. Mr. Baxter had the best penny candy in town. Wright's Grocery had the best sandwiches to order, and it wasn't just meat and bread. They had it your way, a long time before Burger King. Now the nickle popcorn came when you could buy two bags at the Saturday afternoon cowboy movie matinee!
Clothesline dandies, the clothes came out so dazzling white, it takes good ole sunshine... The sheets so bright they hurt your eyes, just hanging on the line. Oh, how I love to hang the wash out and then put those crisp white sheets on the bed at night. Slept like a baby.
Childhood pastimes were playing store with my friends and neighbors. Our merchandise was chosen from the Sears Roebuck catalog, from which we carefully cut out pictures of article after article, our choices curtailed only by the amount of cutting we were willing to do. Items for sale included jewelry, coats, lingerie, dresses, shoes, and work clothes. Ms. Sally and Mr. Pete Wright gave us an old cedar chest to use as a counter to display our items. Our stores were in the old grain bins that were empty. Once in a while, Stevie Eastin would be mine and Kim's (Eastin) delivery boy.
We never had too many outside sleepovers; we lived on rice farms: mosquitoes.
Nowadays, people say: I wish it was back in the good ole days, but it wasn't so good then at times, but we were family, and what ever happened we were together. Do you remember being poor and not knowing the difference?
When you walked into your home and the first thing someone noticed on your coffee table was The Good Book, "The Holy Bible!" A family that prays together, stays together. Knowing that God is with us at all times. "The Good and the Bad." When at night, you sat down at the table, and everyone said, a breakfast, dinner, and supper Prayer. Neighbors prayed to be good neighbors.
I welcome comments, queries, and suggestions at: firstname.lastname@example.org attn: Ms. Sylvia Evans.