PLAIN VIEW FARM, RURAL BRYANT,
GOD'S FIFTH LITTLE ACRE:
"MORE ABOUT THE FARM LIFE,"
BY ESTELLE STADEM RANGEN
If you were lucky to have such modern plumbing
as a water pump in the house that emboweled water
from a cistern near the house, you could consider
yourself very fortunate, indeed. This luxury we had
in later years. But first we drew up water by rope
and bucket; then by a more modern way which was
the turning of a wheel and up came water in many tiny
buckets the size of cups that would empty into our
large pail. Most families relied on the barrel that
collected rain from the rain spouts for many household
uses. After we had strained the larvae from the mosquitoes
we would wash our hair. My, what soft water.
IRONING WAS A REAL TEST OF
Ironing with the "sad irons" was another ordeal.
The irons were rightly named. We heated them on
the range winter or summer, which sent us scurrying
between the hot range and the ironing board (ours
pulled out from the wall--what an invention!)
and they cooled off as soon as they touched
the damp garments.
BATHING WAS ANOTHER OF LIFE'S
The Saturday bath, while the kitchen was warm,
required bringing in a large wash tub, filling it
with rain-barrel water that was heated on the range
or taken out of the reservoir. The lack of privacy
and draughts from the opening of the doors made it
quite an ordeal. We first bathed the baby, then
next in line of years. Hot water was added after
each bather had finished to warm up the water for
comfort and effect for the next to step in.
Our clothing was purchased or made a size or two
large with the idea that we would grow out of them.
The result was that at no time did they really fit
---for by that time they were frayed, if useable
at that time! Shoewear was acquired on the same
principle, that more shoe was better than less shoe.
BUYING SHOES WAS A JOKING
Shoes were bought too large or if ordered
through the catalog we ended up with them
too short and too wide. No one, especially
the sisters, wanted big feet back in those times, which
these oversizes seemed to be designed to encourage. Shoes
way of squeaking when they were new; the joke
was that we had not paid for them.
MAMA'S NEEDLE MADE OUR NEW OUTFITS
Heaven forbid! No one bought clothes on
credit. We waited until we could pay when
money allowed and Mama could spare the time to do often
necessary sewing and altering to make things fit,
and then we did sport new outfits, for the Christmas
program. Oh! how proud we were!
PAPA WAS A COBBLER
During the Depression, Papa sat many an
hour near the south window of our kitchen
patching and half-shoeing the eleven pairs
of shoes needed to keep the family's feet
covered. Hand-me-downs were a delight,
and we had a distant relative in Omaha,
Nebraska, who sent boxes of these surprises.
WE WERE A SIGHT TO BEHOLD
In the winter we were a sight to behold;
the long-johns had a way of stretching out
of shape at the ankles. In order to accommodate
the long stockings, we had to make an ugly fold
in the underwear cuff and slide the stockings
WE GIRLS PUT ON QUITE A
ZIEGFIELD FOLLIES SHOW
All the girls had barnacles on their ankles and we
didn't mind when young, but when nearing
the 7th or 8th grade, before arriving at
the schoolhouse, we were found rolling
the thick underwear up over the knees,
and when we dared, cut them off. Top this
production off with baggy black sateen
bloomers with poor elastic and you can see
why boys kept going to gradeschool until they
were in their late teens; they wouldn't miss
the show! With our gaudy garters and high laced
shoes, we were quite a blast!
OUR BEDS WERE HOMEMADE
The springs on our beds were weak, so they
became more like a hammock after much use.
The upstairs south bedroom was blessed by
having the homemade corn husk mattress.
Our other warmth came from feathered filled
comforters together with our homemade woolen
crazy quilts filled with curded wool and tied
together by the Queen of Knots, Mama. In later
years, better mattresses took the place
of the corn husks and feathers, and light-
weight blankets and quilts did the trick.
NOW FOR GOD'S SIXTH LITTLE
THEN THE FINAL ACRE:
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