As the second youngest, much of my day was spent on my own.
I awoke to the sound in the early morning, of the stove being “pumped” and lit with a small roar. My mother was up first. Her day started by providing cups of steaming tea for all and cooking breakfast. With the older children off to school, I set about keeping busy. First task was helping mom to clean the paraffin lamp glass chimneys, trimming wicks and replenishing paraffin for the evening.
Washing was done in either a zinc bath or down at the dam. Our house helper encouraged me to wash the socks, which I did with great care. My favourite “laundry” was the dam. Here was a perfectly placed flat rock on which to sit, feet in the water and performing the important task of sock washing. Washing was hung to dry on the fence. There were no “windy driers” or tumble drier!
Ironing was a dangerously exacting task, which I was only allowed to observe: Three triangular-shaped cast-iron irons, placed on the wood and coal Dover stove, to heat up. Due to the handles becoming very hot, they had to be grasped, using an old thick cloth, then cleaned of soot with another cloth, and the ironing would begin! As each iron cooled, it was replaced on the stove, and the next hot one used.
Our fridge was made of some sort of peat or coal, set between two layers of netting wire. Placed under a cool, shady tree, it was covered with some sort of bag or fabric, and kept wet. It worked amazingly well. Anyone else remember these?
I’m going to look for more “pebbles” to share, and would love to hear of your “Pebbles in the Stream of Life” too!
Happy memory gleaning!
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