Back to Olden Times?


Does anyone remember toting water from a well or from a spring or creek?  Maybe you aren’t old enough to remember life in the country, but I know folks who have gone back to that kind of life, even in the past ten years. Camping can give one a taste of that.

When I was young (in the ’40’s and ’50’s) my grandma in Mississippi had no running water. She had to carry buckets of water for every drop we drank or that she used cooking on a wood stove. Mama and Daddy took over that job when we visited. She didn’t tote water inside for laundry, but she did build a fire and heat water to do wash outside. She did laundry in wash tubs outside and used a washboard for heavy dirt.  She heated water for bathing and washing dishes in built in sections of her stove, on the sides, as I recall. Bathing for kids happened in large washtubs and for bigger kids and adults with a bucket and a washcloth. Grandma didn’t have a hip tub or a tub large enough for an adult to sit in. Filling one with water would have pushed her physical limits. She used rain water collected in barrels outside for washing hair and even bathing on the back porch.

In Augusta, Georgia we had all the conveniences of running water and bathrooms inside. We had tubs but no showers. I didn’t know anyone had them. We even had a wringer washing machine. Mama hooked the machine to the sink faucets, using a hose to fill and to empty the machine.  That beat going outside for water and heating it over a fire or in containers. She had a cool wringer, so she could squeeze out excess water without killing her hands. Mama was a tiny woman with small hands, so that was extra good. Turning a handle took work, but it still beat wringing water out by hand.

So, why am I discussing this? I’ve written about outhouses and other primitive aspects of visiting grandmas. The faucet on my kitchen sink stopped working. The handle will go up, but no water comes out. (It looks like a pump handle, but doesn’t pump! This breakdown did not make me a happy person. Oh, what fun it is to tote containers of water from the bathroom sink to use on the kitchen. I am back to one dishpan per sink, one to wash in and one to rinse. No more running water to rinse dishes and pots! Getting someone out to see if repairs will work or if I need something new won’t happen. Until I can clear the cabinet under the sink and the counters near it, I’ll go back to the olden times in some ways. At least I am clearing my dishes before I fill both sides with dirty dishes!  I take more steps and I don’t go outside to get my water! 

I have other lazy habits in my kitchen I won’t mention!

If I can find free images I will add them! Author/121044561311561 Follow Mary Marvella on Twitter @mmarvellab

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2 Responses to Back to Olden Times?

  1. Josie says:

    Oh no, MM! Hope you can get things working in your kitchen again soon! Interesting post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. marymarvella says:

    It won’t happen soon, but thanks!


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