Saturday, February 7, 2009

Wash Day On The Mountain.


Here it is the first Saturday of February and as I sit in front of the computer and look out the window I see what could be a fabulous ice skating rink if our property was flat land. Even with the thermometer reading fifty degrees, this huge yard is a solid sheet of ice. It seems like months have passed since we had that ice storm that stretched across much of this country. We originally had an inch of ice on top of snow with more snow on top of the ice. The snow on top has melted and been replaced with more snow several times since the ice storm. The original ice still remains on our ground. I would guess that it is several inches thick by now though. What snow we have has a shine to it from the ice that covers it that would put most floor waxes to shame.

I am doing laundry this morning because I have put it off longer than I should have. It is now a "Must Do or Do Without" situation and so I am doing. To do without would be a really scarey sight. Since today is laundry day for me, I thought I would share with you "A Clothes Washing Recipe" that I found some years ago. I think I may have even posted it before. If I did it has been a long time ago. It deserves repeating though...........



Years ago an Arkansas grandmother gave the new bride the following recipe:

This is an exact copy as written and found in an old scrapbook - with spelling errors and all.

WASHING CLOTHES


Build fire in backyard to heat kettle of rain water.


Set tubs so smoke wont blow in eyes if wind is pert.


Shave one hole cake of lie soap in boilin water.


Sort things, make 3 piles



1 pile white,

1 pile colored,

1 pile work britches and rags.



To make starch, stir flour in cool water to smooth, then thin
down with boiling water.

Take white things, rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard, and boil, then rub colored, don't boil just wrench and starch.

Take things out of kettle with broom stick handle, then wrench, and starch.

Hang old rags on fence.

Spread tea towels on grass.

Pore wrench water in flower bed.

Scrub porch with hot soapy water.

Turn tubs upside down.

Go put on clean dress, smooth hair with hair combs.

Brew cup of tea, sit and rock a spell and count your blessings.



JD has a saying that goes something like this: "The good part of the Good Old Days is that they are gone!" I don't know about anyone else, but I for one am grateful for my modern day washer and dryer. Have a great weekend everyone.

10 comments:

Laura ~Peach~ said...

oh my goodness I am SOOOOOOOO thankful to have my letric washer and dryer.... but LOVE LOVE LOVE that letter.

BittersweetPunkin said...

Wow...that was so neat...I do count my Blessings every time I put my laundry in my machine. I will be doing laundry today too...

Hugs,
Robin

Linds said...

I love that letter but I too am delighted to be living right now with my washer and drier!
We have ice/snow here too. Our roads must look like your yard, Jo!

PEA said...

Reading those instructions would have put me right off getting married and getting laundry as my responsibility! lol Yup, I too am indeed thankful that we've come such a long way where laundry is concerned!

We're having quite a mild day here today, it's actually gone up to 33F which is quite the change from the frigid temps we'd been having! xoxo

farmlady said...

My mom lived on a ranch when she young and she told us stories about Washday and what a chore it was. She also helped make that "lye" soap and she said it was an awful process.
The "good old days" were not as great as they say.

Diane@Diane's Place said...

Love your new look! :o)

That receet for washing clothes is included in one of our church cookbooks. Sure does make you appreciate your modern, indoors electric washer and dryer.

I've been cleaning, sorting, decluttering and washing laundry all afternoon, so this post is especially appropriate for me today.

Up until yesterday we still had some ice hanging on in shady areas. Unbelievable! If my Mama was still alive she'd say it was hangin' on for another 'un.

Hope you have a blessed Sunday, Jo. :o)

Love and hugs,

Diane

BClark said...

And I think I am doing somethng big by lugging loads of clothes outside in the summer! Sit down and have a cup of tea, more like collapse in a heap! Thank you for sharing

Mountain Mama said...

I remember using a washboard. That was before I was able to have a Wringer washer and believe me I was thankful to have it. It was a lot harder to scrub between your hands. I didnt have to boil my clothes though and had a woodcookstove to heat water on. I was blessed, but I agree that now with a automatic washer and dryer I am more blessed than ever.
Your description of the ice does sound pretty but I know how treacherous it can be. Take care.

Juli said...

I love it !

I do actually wash outside by hand in the summer. Th o also have an electric washer and dryers because I take in laundry as barter too.

My dear friend Peggy http://hiddenhavenhomestead.blogspot.com/ does as well. She and our friend Corky have excellent setups.

I've been looking for a hnad crank wringer ever since my grandmother took hers back over 20 years ago.

There's always been something meditative and powerful to me about doing laundry and hanging it to dry.

Kate said...

Gosh Jo,

You fair brought back memories with this post, I never washed like that at home though I did when we had a caravan home at the seaside - we stayed in it for 6weeks in the summer- We had a van for 10 years- Fantastic! I absolutely loved it Jo and as the previous commenter Juli mentioned it was meditative and powerful... I used to sing out while doing the washing and watch the water rolling by at the side of the 'van' .. So many happy memories of these times when the boys were small... Thanks for this post. Hugs, Kate x.

P.S. I remember my grandmother doing her washing using what she called 'a dolly' which was a round stick with legs at one end... Wonderful Memories!