Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Snapshots from the Past - EV Melotte

Snapshots from the Past - EV Melotte

We had no electricity. Some cities had it, but the Rural Electrification hadn't reached Taylor County
My moms dad is far left - they SEEM friendly enough (RUN!)
yet, and wouldn't for many years. That lack alone made life in the 1930s a very different process from life today.

There were no electric lights, no radios, T.V.s, no CD players. No refrigerators, clothes dryers, microwaves, air conditioners, vacuum cleaners, toasters, thermostats, neon signs, Christmas lights. When it got dark we lit the kerosene lamps. When we got chilly we shook down the ashes in the wood stove, put a couple more chunks of wood in and adjusted the damper. Before that, of course, somebody had to have cut down the tree, lopped off the branches, sawed the wood into suitable lengths, split it into suitable widths, stacked it in the woodshed until it was thoroughly dry and carried it into the woodbox. Then, and only then, could you start a fire in the cookstove to make a cup of coffee or fry an egg.

There was no piped in gas, natural or propane. There was no piped in water, if you wanted water you
pumped it from the well. In winter you had to prime the pump with hot water first. If you wanted your water hot, you pumped cold water, carried it into the house, filled the big gallon tea kettle, put it on the lighted stove and waited for it to heat

There were no bathrooms. The toilet was a two-seater outhouse in the back yard, with an old Sears Roebuck catalog for paper. If you wanted a bath there was the laundry tub in the privacy of the night time kitchen, after the dishes were washed and the cream separated and the preparations for the next day's cooking were done. It took a lot of pumping and heating and hauling out, so we didn't take baths very often.

Photo says 1937 - Moms house
If you just wanted to wash your hands or face or brush your teeth there was a tin wash bowl that sat on a wash stand beside the communal bucket of water with it's communal drinking dipper. The waste water from that was poured into a pail that lived under the wash stand and was emptied as necessary, onto the tomatoes in summer and behind the woodshed in winter.

There was no garbage collection, no re-cycling collection, some farmers buried their trash, we had none. Peeling, parings, crumbs and any leftovers that couldn't be re-served went into a special bucket in the comer, along with wormy apples, rotting vegetables and all cooking water that wasn't used for anything else. This was all mixed with dried corm or whatever else we had, and was fed to the pigs, who grew fat and happy on it

Paper and cardboard started the fires and lined our galoshes in winter. There were no cans, all of our canned food was home canned in glass jars with reusable lids.

There were no plastic bags or containers. Plastic hadn't yet been invented.

Flour and sugar came in cotton sacks holding 50 or 100 pounds. The bags were washed, the seams picked out, and the fabric recycled into towels, diapers, underwear, and aprons.
Burlap feed sacks were washed and stitched into bed-sized pieces, laid several layers thick and tied together at six-inch intervals to make scratchy but warm thermal blankets. Shoes were resoled and reheeled at home, if the uppers split they were patched with tar. A pair of shoes would be passed down through all four children, as were the overalls, shirts, long johns and coats. Clothes were patched and repatched until they wouldn't hold together. Then the less worn parts were removed to make patches for other clothes, and the worn-out parts became cleaning rags. When the cleaning rags started literally dissolving in the cleaning water they were tossed on the manure pile to finish decomposing-they were all natural materials, nylon and polyester hadn't been invented--and they'd eventually be spread on the fields and gardens as fertilizer.
Everything that came onto the farm was used to the utmost and recycled into the farm.

I grew up accepting the verse, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." as being the Truth and the Law and the way the world is.

----EV Melotte


Looks like Trick or Treat will be the Saturday before Halloween. The vote was 4-2.  It's a good day.


My gardens are nearing full bloom.  The Clay Garden is totally out now with the White Daises  having their best year since I planted then 4 years ago. 

The Butterfly/hummingbird garden is about 70% blooming - I totally redid this garden this year.  When I hear gardeners talk about their gardens almost complete - I just stop listening as NO GARDEN is ever finished.

This one has many first year flowers which will take another 3 years to fully mature (the bottle left spiky things are brand new) .  All gardens are a work in progress that never finishes.

But the big ticket item that Elwood found and we planted is having a banner year.

WOW - do bees (and Jap beetles) love this one. 

Sadly the patio gardens do not bloom at the same time.  I'll have to look but this is from a month ago and there have been BIG changes (A photo tomorrow) .  The bird bath had to be moved as this is 100% grown over with flowers.

Hard to imagine when we moved in it was a blank slate - no trees, shrubs or anything just dirt.


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