L To R, Josh Perkins, Elmer Willis, Solomon Doyle, Mae Ashworth Willis, Nora Ashworth Griffin, Shelby Ashworth

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thursday's On Bearhead

During the Spring, Summer and Fall, just like clock work. We followed a certain routine every Thursday on Bearhead. These events took place not only at our house, but also my Grand Mother and G Grand Mothers house.
This was wash day. By the time I had came along, people were almost completely done with washing with a rub board. There were still a few who found it a hard thing to give up. If you have ever had the pleasure of washing a load of cloths by hand on a rub board, you would not have a hard time giving it up. But a few folks did.
Between our three households, each family had chipped in and had bought a new ringer type washing machine. All agreed to have it put at Maws house. Then every Thursday, we all would meet up there and wash and do other chores.
With a ringer type machine, for those of you who never had the pleasure of using one. It worked this way. The cloths were washed much the same way they are today. In a tub with and agitator. The machine would dump the water. But there was no such thing as the machine rinsing the cloths of spinning them. Once the water was drained out you took the cloths and they were place into a No. 3 wash tube that was filled with fresh water. You would have two of these tubs with fresh water. You used your hands to swish the cloths around in the fresh water. They were then taken and ran through a ringer. This was two tightly compressed rollers. This would squeezed the water and soap out of the cloths. Once the piece of clothing was ran through the ringer, it was placed into the second No 3 tub with water. You repeated this process until you had removed all the soap you possibly could by doing this. The cloths were then hung on a cloths line in the sun to dry. If you had no cloths line, you used the next best thing, a barbed wired fence or Hurricane Fence {Yard Fence}, tree limbs or spread out on the well. If it was winter time, you strung them up in the house or on the back of chairs. Some even ran a small cloths line across the front room. Then a good fire was built in the fire place and was dried this way.
Another one of our chores was to sun the beds and pillows. The ,mattress back the was very thin and I'll never forget blue and white colored and stripped. We could roll these mattress up. We then packed them outside and was placed in the open where the sun would hit them for most of the day. They to were placed most anywhere, across the butane tank, the yard fence, the well, just anywhere or place that could support the weight. At the end of the day, we would pack every bit of this back in the house. I can tell you this. There is no drug on this earth that can make you sleep and rest as well as what that smell of those mattress, pillows and fresh washed sheets dried in the sun could do. You slept like a new born baby. This is one of the very few things I miss about those days.
In the house, ever section and inch of the floors were swept and scrubbed until it was spic and spanned.Even the furniture would be sunned as they called it. If it wasn't to heavy or large to get outside. The house was given a total make over every Thursday like this. There were no if ands or buts about it. This was done.
Many chores had to be done most ever day like this. One thing my cousin and I had to do most all summer was splitting oak fire wood. again, we not only did this for our houses, but also Maws house. During my fathers days off, during these months, weather permitting, we spent the days off gathering fire wood. So we had wood to split most all summer. Along with piling and storing the fat lightered pine and pine knots. That to was used in starting the fires in our fireplaces. Back then, every home you came across in the Bearhead community had a pine knot pile and an oak fire wood pile right next to the house.
Grass had to be cut, leaves had to be raked. Then if the cows had bedded down for the night in front of the house, the very first thing you did when starting the day, was to go out and remove the cow pies from the front of the drive where you parked the cars and trucks. A very nice smelling way to start the day, right before you ate breakfast. I am sure this was for years the very reason most folks didn't care about eating breakfast. HHa
At the end of the day, you were give out. all you wanted was to clean up, eat and go to bed. You had no desire to sit up all night on the computer, playing video games or watching T.V. Wait a minute, reality just showed up. There were no such things as that then. The most advanced things we had was a T.V. that got 4 channels, 7, 6, 10 & 12. and a radio and no such thing as FM. The only music, Country and Preaching and Gospel on Sundays. Every once in a great while, with the wind blowing just right, you were able to hear some very foreign music in a very foreign language to us. It was called Cajun or just plain Coonass music.
The end of the day also brought a very sweet ending for us kids most of the them. We were treated to ice cold watermelons or cantaloupes. If the season for them were over it was even better. Home Made Ice Cream. Made from home grown ingredients. The best and purist in the world. You;ll have to get to Heaven to experience anything better than those three treats.
When most folks hear of things such as these. The very first thing they will say is "Those were the good old days'. They are wrong. I heard Paul Harvey talking about that saying one day on the radio. He put it this way and very well at that. He said Folks I lived back then and did all these things, they were not the good old days, He stated "THOSE WERE THE HARD OLD DAYS". He was beyond a doubt, correct and truthful in that statement.

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