Liblady's Genealogy Blog

Week 2: Winter Days
January 7, 2011, 10:36 pm
Filed under: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

This is week 2 for 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History.

Winter in Central Kansas could be cold and snowy or very mild. As I grew up most winters were seasons of cold and snow. There was snow most winters, with more some winters than others.

During the winter months doing the wash and drying clothes was always a challenge. We lived in the country and had an old washer with a wringer. Mondays were wash day, washing between 6-8 loads of clothing and bedding, and them all to be hung out on the line. The washer and tubs had to be brought into the kitchen to be hooked up to the kitchen sink to fill them all. When everything was set up, filled and the clothes had all been sorted. It was time to begin. The first load was put in, no timer so when Mom thought the time was up, each item was taken out of the washer, but through the wringer, into the first rinse, repeating for the second rinse and a final trip through the wringer into the basket. The second load was put into washer and the washed clothes were taken out to the line. It was only in extreme weather conditions that the clothes were not hung out on the line. During the winter months the clothes did not dry on the line, they froze. When they were brought in the house they were stiff as boards, then hung on the clothes lines that were strung through out the dining and living room. They thawed out and would finish drying in the house. Of course at the end of the day, the tubs and washer had to be drained, and put back on the porch. This is the method my used for washing clothes until we moved in 1965, with winters having the challenge of the clothes freezing on the line. But the best part of the day was the pot of ham and beans that simmered on the stove all day, and were served that night for supper with a pan of corn bread. Still a favorite meal.

One winter that stands out in my memory is the year I was in fourth grade. That winter I spent more time in town, than I did at home. That winter we had so much snow that our roads weren’t opened for the bus to come pick me up for a number of weeks. We had 2 miles of roads to get to a main road to take us to town. My father was determined I get an education and he would take me to town on Monday morning and come get me on Friday after school. My ride to school was on the back of a small gray Ford Tractor. My father built a box on the back of the tractor, to carry me and 4 of our neighbor’s children to school. I would bundle up, gather my school things and a suitcase and climb on the back of the tractor, we headed down the road, picked up the neighbors, and Daddy took us the 4 miles to school. During the week I stayed with a classmate and her sister. (My brother and sister were gone from home by this time, so I was like an only child.) During these weeks, I found out what it was like to have a sister at home. Friday after school, Daddy would pick up us on the little Ford tractor and take us home for the weekend. We repeated this process for several weeks. It could have only been 2-3 weeks, but it seems much longer, maybe 4-6 weeks. Just a very unusual winter, wish we had taken pictures, but that wasn’t our priority.

Winters today don’t seem so harsh, but when you are you young things look a whole lot different


3 Comments so far
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I remember the wringer washer and hanging on the line. Did you have to separate by size and color and type, I did, cause the neighbors were looking at your line. And those Darn curtain stretchers for the lace curtains. It was my job to put them on over the nails. And if it was cold and your hands wet, you wanted to hurry.
Nice post.

Comment by Jo Meyer

Oh, yes we had to separate and sort. Of course the wash, started with the whites and worked our way through to the overalls. We lived in the country at the top of the hill, so our clothesline wasn’t seen by the neighbors. Glad you enjoyed.

Comment by liblady495

I remember the wringer washer diapers wrapped around the wringer,If it does, an article of the wash may
wrap several times around a roller before it is noticed; unwinding such a
piece is often difficult, sometimes impossible without removing a roller .
Its you’re already happened?

Comment by Jullie B.

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