What? Are you ok? I thought you asked if I owned a refrigerator; where have you been? Well, let’s talk about that idea….it’s Friday and you, maybe your wife, some friends from work, whomever, go out to eat…..fun time, relax a little, food, drink, come home….Back at your place you reach for the remote over the steering wheel or in console…not there,…strange…mutter few unmentionables…park in driveway, maybe on curb….go to front door, unlock door, reach to right for light switch, can’t find switch…what is this!
No remote, no light switch..am I in the right house?…Well, yes, but just for grins, we’ve changed a few things to help you get a tiny taste of life with your relatives say 60-100 years ago…here we go…..you arrive home, unlock front door (although most of us never kept them locked, we knew our neighbors, and we all had guns…mostly for providing meat to eat, and keeping the varmint population down, you know, possums, raccoons, occasional fox or squirrel, even a stray cat…didn’t shoot dogs, they like people, cats only tolerate humans)….ok, it’s after dark, you’re at the front door, you reach in your pocket for a stick match, strike it on your pants pocket or on side of door and reach for kerosene lamp on stand inside door.
Over by kitchen sink, you light another lamp, and one on the kitchen table…hmmmm cozy! But now, before you head upstairs to bed, you’re thirsty…on sideboard, there’s a tall pitcher with a dish towel over it, in cupboard get a glass and pour a nice glass of well water you pumped this morning from the hand pump on side of sink. Now, if you wanted milk, you would open door behind kitchen door and walk down into the dirt cellar, cool and damp..also dark, so you go back upstairs for the kerosene lantern.
In one of the cabinets on a shelf is a pitcher with another towel over it, yummy, fresh milk you bought yesterday from neighbor who owns Bessie, nice cow. Up to kitchen, blow out lantern flame, take kerosene lamp and go upstairs. Beside your bed is a stand with a small bowl, a mirror, a cupboard under the bowl with two small doors, in that cupboard would be a “pee pot,” (no indoor plumbing yet, and the outhouse is actually out and it’s dark and a long walk, so the “pee pot.”) and a few towels.
Near the small bowl is a pitcher of water and a cake of lye soap; you take off some clothes, wash hands and face, and get in bed, being careful to put lamp on stand far enough from bed so you don’t knock it over in night. On stand is a Bible and one or two other books under the stand. You grab your remote and turn on TV, oops, wrong era…you read Bible or other book, get up, put one hand behind lamp globe and blow sharply so air will go down globe and extinguish lamp flame…room very dark…moon not shining tonite…snuggy down and sleep….
Ahhh, daylight, ol’ man Simmon’s rooster really going at it this morning! Grab remote to check weather on TV…darn, still back in yesteryear!…Ok, look out window, check weather…wash face and hands, dress, take pot and lamp downstairs…depending on how full the pot, may make two trips, spilling contents of pot, as my mother learned once, is, oh, such a mess!….In the kitchen, let’s see, feeling like good breakfast today…how about eggs, bacon, biscuits and coffee…all right then…go to refrig..no, ok, down cellar..back upstairs for lantern, open cupboard and in box get two fresh eggs, way over near back wall hang three objects covered with cloth..one is a side of bacon, bought from neighbor last summer when he slaughtered three hogs…second is a nice hind leg ham, third, last hind quarter of that deer I shot in November….slice three nice strips of bacon, take lantern and go to kitchen…lay eggs and bacon on cutting board and reach for coffee pot by sink…get water from pail on side board and fill pot, put in coffee and turn on stove…nope, no turn on…go to shed, get arm full of wood I split last summer and stacked to the shed roof…lay wood in basket behind stove, open side door of stove and remove ashes in bucket also behind stove…open top lid and place some kindling sticks in, strike match and light fire…get cast iron skillet and put in bacon, will use grease from bacon to fry eggs…put coffee pot on back lid of stove to perk…go to fridge to get can of biscuits to…nope…open lower cupboard door to get large tin with flour, put two cups in bowl with dash salt, sugar, baking powder, cup of curdled milk from cellar, stir well, shape, arrange in pan, turn oven to 350 degrees…darn…just open oven door and hope fire heats up the oven soon..put another couple sticks on fire…..after a while, coffee has boiled, eggs and bacon fried, and biscuits nice and hot, just a little doughy, but hot…yummy!
Now, are you sure you want to hear more about bathing and other activities? Well, maybe another time….Some us today can still recall those times with no refridge or electricity…personally, I’m pleased with having those technological advancements…what I do miss however is the attitude possessed by virtually every American I ever met back then…times were tough for most, folks read their Bibles a lot, it wasn’t anything to walk into a store or shop and see a Bible on the counter…neighbors regularly attended their places of worship…shops were often closed out of respect for “the Lord’s Day.”
July 4th was a real serious holiday with a parade, people in uniform, older folks with hands over their hearts, oh, and every one of those folks knew where their hand was placed in respect for the brave men and women who gave their last and greatest measure of devotion to this the greatest experiment in freedom in the history of the world, these United States of America!….yes, it’s over your heart, not on your hip….disgusting….Do I miss the dirt cellar or kerosene lamp…nope..do I miss the national love and respect for those millions of Americans whose gravestones cover our land and the world, crying out to us, the living, that socialism and communism enslave citizens, and only government of the people, by the people and for the people can ever unite and bless us all… Oh, mercy, yes!
From my heart to yours….see ya next time!