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Little Creek

I failed to get my news in on time last week and so I am starting early so as not to let time slip on me. It is a beautiful weekend although a little bit chilly but the sun is shining and the leaves are turning all colors and it is a good day to give praise and say thank you, Lord, for your bountiful blessings.

Karen came Thursday bringing lunch to share with me. It was a good time and Jo came Wednesday to watch a show I had taped. Charlie came while she was here and brought cucumbers, tomatoes and apples which I shared with Jo and sent some to Nicole and Ashley.

The bomb scare at school reminds us that our world gets smaller and smaller and it makes us feel insecure as the bad things intrude. I like to escape at such a time to a place in our not too distant past when things seemed simpler and values were definite. We may be forced to live in the present but our hearts remain true to the past.

I always have requests to write of the good ole days. The younsters think good ole days is a misnomer. I’ve wondered about those who read my items (supposedly news) and how many can relate to those days of old. But I am often complimented by young or middle aged who tell me they like for me to write of things of long ago so I must conclude that the younger generation (many of them) like hearing of the ways when their grandmothers grew up.

So I’ll keep writing from time to time of those good old days as I knew them. One reason being that I enjoy going there and another is that maybe if I write and someone remembers it the past will not be forgotten and I hope some will find contentment for a brief time in our fast paced and sometimes scary world.

So I’ll conclude my news, which is scarce, with a trip back in time to a few days spent with Mom and Ma near Little Creek at Ma’s house.

Even the every drop of water had to be drawn from the well via rope and pulley, Ma (and Mom) were fanatic about cleanliness. On a bench by the kitchen door was a zinc wash pan beside a bucket of water with a dipper along with a cake of homemade lye soap. Barefoot kids were made to wash up thoroughly before entering to eat, which was the only time really that kids were inside, weather permitting.

You can guess that wash day was a big event. If I try I can transport myself back in time to a day with loved ones working and playing together and a whole day washing and drying clothes and “together” being the operative work because we enjoyed one another always on Little Creek.

But in bad weather or winter time, everything was done inside with the wood burning stove doing most of the work. In my mother’s and grandmother’s eyes, clothes were not clean unless they were thoroughly cooked and scrubbed and hung in the fresh clean air to dry. Often they froze dry. Now in good weather, the laundry operation moved outside. The water was put to boil in a big black kettle on tripods. Mom and Ma collaborated to wash both families dirty clothes and we all helped draw water because everything went through three or four kettles (2-4 hot soapy, one hot rinse and one tub of cold water with bluing.) Sometimes we had rain water caught from off the roof into large barrels. We loved this soft water for shampoos.

The wash day started at day light. By noon, several lines of pasturized clothing was flapping in the breeze. Anything that came to just the right stage of dampness was snatched from the line, rolled into a ball and left in a wicker basket for ironing the next day and everything was ironed.

Not even quilts were spared from the boiling water and lye soap. Once a year this magical day rolled around and all bedding was washed down on the creek bank. The perfect day at the end of summer was carefully chosen so as to be no rainfall and we all adjourned to the creek just below Ma’s house. Daddy gathered wood for the fire having transported the kettle and got the water boiling because these quilts had a year’s worth of germs to boil out. He also helped lift the quilts out of the hot water and into the creek for rinsing. It took two people (or more) to wring out a quilt because they were super heavy, being that the inner workings were often toe-sacks or heavy blankets. Then they were hung on the fences to dry. We had picnic food and played in the water all day. I could never understand why the grown-ups didn’t enjoy the day so much. And fall days were perfect but rapidly coming to an end.

You younger readers may have no idea what I’ve been talking about. And, as members of another generation you’ve yet to create your own memorable moments and I would wish for you to have made them together with family and friends. (No better times and we call them “the gold ‘ole days”.)

Nostalgia and personal observations often rule my pen to the neglect of newsworthy items, so I’ll get on with some news that happened in the middle of my reminiscing. My step-daughter Tracy with her father Charlie came for a vey enjoyable time together. Tracy is always “at home” when she gets here and she is a very unpretencious common sense girl. She was so sorry to have missed our chili cook-off in memory of our son Kasey. She enjoyed the pictures and write up in the Gainesville paper.

I don’t believe I wrote any thing in our county paper but the event was well attended and enjoyed immensely with an estimated 80 people to eat chili and all the accompaniments around the rim fires to chase away the cold. Thank you all for coming and we’ll see you all next year “the Lord willing and the creeks don’t rise.”

And I’ll conclude with a little “gem” I read on Facebook – “Statistics show that criminals commit less crime after they’ve been shot.” Those of us who agree that the courts are too lenient can find this almost right.

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