Monday, April 02, 2007

Do we have it easy or what?

Years ago a Kentucky grandmother gave the new bride the following recipe for washing clothes. It appears below just as it was written, and despite the spelling, has a bit of philosophy. This is an exact copy as written and found in an old scrap book (with spelling errors and all).

1. Bilt fire in backyard to heat kettle of rain water.
2. Set tubs so smoke wont blow in eyes if wind is pert.
3. Shave one hole cake of lie soap in bilin water.
4. Sort things, make 3 piles.
1 pile white,
1 pile colored,
1 pile work britches and rags.
5. To make starch, stir flour in cool water to smooth, then thin down with bilin water.
6. Take white things, rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard, and then bile. Rub colored don't bile, just rinch and starch.
7. Take things out of kettle with broomstick handle, then rinch, and starch.
8. Hang old rags on fence.
9. Spread tea towels on grass.
10. Pore rinch water in flower bed.
11. Scrub porch with hot soapy water.
12. Turn tubs upside down.
13. Go put on clean dress, smooth hair with hair combs. Brew cup of tea, sit and rock a spell and count your blessings.

I guess I need to think before I complain anymore.


Foo said...

Putting aside your intended point--which was well made, by the way--what a treasure to find something like that in your old family scrapbook!

Anonymous said...

I agree, that is too cool. Although at the very end, I think it would have been better if she said to sit a spell and smoke some weed. And boy I bet they had skin rashes back then!!

KingJaymz said...

I'd also like to add that the English language was not standardized until the mid 19th century. Regional dialects ruled the land, and even after our American english was standardized, most regional spellings ruled the land for many more years to come. I'm not saying that the spelling was flawless, but something we may consider misspelled could be spelled perfectly from the perspective of the people of the region of that time (and maybe even still today!).

That said, I think I'll go home and hug my washing machine.

R said...

That is how my grandmother talked and worked when she was young. It brings back memories of memories. That was really awesome.

God is merciful to us, that is for sure, Anne. I know that if I had to do that work, my hands would be toast. I would be bleeding all over those clothes in nothing flat. And trust me, I would not be the higher class of people, I would most likely be the working class, so I would not be around long! God surely puts us in our century in a mindful fashion.


Lisa said...

Thanks, Anne! *Hugs-a-bunch*

Anne said...

Hi Guys!

Sorry I've been away - my "plate" has been overly full lately. I received this post via e-mail from someone (forgot who) and thought it was cool. I'm not sure whose grandmother it was but it could just have easily been mine.

mommy to four j's said...

I can't beleive how muc i hate to do laudry now can you imagine how it was back than, Happy Easter, Char

The Woman said...

Blessed Easter from a "new" old friend!

Emma Sometimes said...

tea towels go on the front lawn, ya know.

I love this "recipe" and every time I see it I want to marry my washing machine and have washing machine babies.

Anonymous said...

clean up your everything on it or you'll get a spanking!!