My mind drifts back to way back when;

To Grandma and her sewing tin.

To her standing in her cotton apron and frock,

Over the big wash tub with water boiling hot.

Smoke wafting upward bound,

From the tub over the wood fire which made a crackling sound.

I remember Grandma's frame was small and lean with gray hair in a bun,

And her bespectacled face was wrinkled and tan from the sun.

I can see her over that tub with her paring knife,

Whittling soap into the bubbling brew which gave old clothes new life.

A big stirring pole and scrub board completed her wash day tools.

For this work, there were no schools.

Hanging on lines toward the autumn sun,

The propped clothes lines were heavy with Grandma's work until they were done.

Back in the old frame house, a pot of beans was on the cast iron stove true and tried.

Supper would be done ere the setting sun faded into eventide.

I miss my dear, sweet Grandma in her checked dress and simple ways.

I'll see her on that Golden Shore one of these days.

I know she'll be waving and beckoning with open arms on that day;

Saying, "Honey, Iím glad youíve come home to stayĒ.


Written by a woman who had very little formal education.

Receet for washing clothes

1. Build fire in back yard to get kettle of rain water.
2. Set tubs so smoke won't blow in eyes if wind is pert.
3. Shave hole cake of lie soap in boiling water.
4. Sort things. Make 3 piles, 1 pile white, 1 pile coloured, 1 pile work britches and rags.
5. Stir some flour in cold water to smooth, then thin down with boiling water.
6. Rub dirty spots on board,, scrub hard, then bile, rub cullord but don't bile, just rench and starch.
7. Spread tea towels on grass.
8. Take white things out of kettle with broom-stick handle, then rench and starch.
9. Hang old rags on fence.
10. Pore rench water on flower bed.
11. Scrub porch with hot soapy water.
12. Turn the tubs upside down.
13. Go put on a clean dress - smooth hair with side combs, brew cup of tea - set and rest and rock a spell and count blessing.


© Phyllis Ann (




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