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I Remember When ..

I remember not having electricity. We had a pitcher pump outside and had a pail of water with a "community" dipper and wash pan nearby for drinking water and " washing up".  I always drank  from the dipper  near the handle hoping no one else did .  (same way at our one room school) We had a wood cook stove until we got a new fangled kerosene burner one and mom swore it did not make things taste right. Mom washed on the "board" I still can here her saying "if you youngins' knew how hard it is to get your clothes clean,  you would not get them so dirty "  We had "sad" irons that heated on the cook stove. It was hard to gauge the heat and not scorch your whites. We used three kerosene lamps and my job was to go to the kerosene barrel outside with the spigot and fill the dratted things.  I despised the job and still can remember the smell of the kerosene. UGH !  We also had wood heating stoves in which you burned the side of you nearest the stove and froze the other side most of the time. Our floors that were not wood,  had linoleum coverings. They were very cold to hop onto when getting out of bed from your nice warm
feather tick covering, or out from under your Grandmothers hand crafted comforter and quilts piled high on top of you where you could barely breathe from the weight, in the winter.  Some added newspaper between the layers to hold more heat in.  Good old days ?? Nah,  I'll  just take the Central heat and air, and all of the new appliances any day over those days. My parents got electricity in 1951 after I left home.
For me they are just great memories, and not the way I want to live today

Lois  Caywood Guffy  written Aug 14,1999

This is a story passed on to me in 1993 by my husband's Aunt, who is in her 80s

Katy Estep was born in 1861 in Redbush, Johnson County, Kentucky. She married William Wallace McKenzie and helped rear their nine children to adulthood.  She was responsible for the cleaning and the washing.  The washing was done by hand with lye soap she made herself. She canned the food they ate from the garden they cared for.  She would rise long before dawn to cook enough food to feed her family for the day.  She would bake bread, fry chicken, slice ham, etc.  Everything had to be on the table and ready to eat by dawn.  When dawn came she went to the fields with her husband and children. It was custom to only cook once a day, place everything on the table and when it was time to eat it only had to be warmed a little and the family could return to the fields much faster that way.  This custom is still carried on in some homes even though modern conveniences are installed in most of the homes. After her husband's death, she and the children continued running the farm. She died in 1935, at the age of 79 and was buried alongside her husband in the "McKenzie Cemetery", Patty Flats.

Sharon McKenzie, Pleasant Hill, California