Good Heavens, my internet is out. After calling Windstream and playing ring around the phone system I finally got to talk to a human. We stayed on the phone, computer in front of me, for an hour unplugging this, push and holding in that, “ can I put you on hold,”? We wasted an hour to find out when the young lady called the engineer that the whole service is down today and will be probably until tomorrow. Now, what to do with the other 8 hours of my day?
This got me to thinking about life before the web. How on earth did a woman who did not work outside the home entertain herself??
For starters, early Monday morning she went to the spring or well to draw up about 10 buckets of water to fill the old wringer washer . I forgot, first she chopped the kindlin to start a fire under the old canner out in the yard to heat the water because hog slopping, cow milking, field plowing, and bull frog mud from the creek won't come out in cold water! Then we children helped her pack the water. Once heated, it was transferred to the old Maytag, gasoline engine put-putting along. Sounded like a lawn mower running all day (no wonder mother was half deaf when she was older). Each load was sorted, churned about for ½ hour, then run thru the wringer to a washtub of rinse water, sloshed up and down by hand to rinse, then fed back thru the wringer to a dry basket for hanging out in nature's dryer. For you young folks, that was on the clothes line or fence row in the sunshine. In the winter they just froze dry! First the white underwear, then the sheets & towels, then the delicate colored, then the work clothes. Most times the washing started just after breakfast and ended about dinner time. A big breakfast before daylight was the norm, a big dinner for the boys who was working the field, and a big supper before dark was a daily thing. No snacking, you worked so you had to eat real food! Before the sun went down, the chickens had to be fed, the cow milked, the hogs slopped and mule fed, and kindling chopped for the fire to cook on, and those clean clothes gathered in. Are you tired yet?
Now Tuesday had all the cooking, animal feeding and tending as every other day but this day there had to be a fire in the old coal cook stove all day, regardless of how hot it was outside. Why you might ask? To heat up the old flat irons of course! She had to make up a big batch of faultless starch in a dish pan, then all the wrinkled clothes had to be sprinkled with water. There was no permanent press, everything down to the dish rags had to be ironed. Shirts and gingham dresses starched so they would just about stand up by their self. Ironing took nearly all day.
Wednesday? Well that was the day all the gardens had to be weeded and hoed. We had 3. The lower, middle, and upper gardens as well as the corn field and tater patch behind the house. If it wasn't needing hoeing and weeding, then it was needing gathering and picking and breaking and stringing and shucking and pickling and canning!
Thursday, sewing and mending and whatever got left from the other days, Friday sweeping and mopping and dusting and window washing and porch scrubbing and yard sweeping and grass cutting ( with a butcher knife or a weed hook ). Needless to say, these 2 inch high yard “hair cuts” didn't exist!
Saturday, maybe a visit from a neighbor or a visit to a neighbor but most likely just a little rest before walking out of the hollar Sunday to church, then a little visit with a neighbor after church. Even on these days the animals had to be cared for and the family fed.
What was I thinking to be upset because my internet is out and I am bored! Thank you Lord that I have time to be bored!!!