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This and That - Ahhh! Sweet Springtime! PDF Print E-mail
Monday, March 26, 2012 10:45 AM

This early spring is absolutely wonderful. I love having the screens down and the windows open. Maybe this will last a long time before we have to turn the air conditioners on. I prefer the open windows over the “canned” air until it gets too hot and humid. Naturally those with allergies need and appreciate the AC all the time.

Remember the days before air conditioning. We didn’t know any different. The only allergy I had was poison ivy. I hope I have outgrown it but I’m deathly afraid of vines with three leaves. (Leaves three – leave it be!) Once when I was a kid, I had it so bad during those summer days before AC that I just went down the cellar for some cool relief. That was before people had “fixed up” basements. That’s where the furnace was …..those of us who were lucky enough to have a furnace. The basement was the place for the wringer washing machine, the cream separator, those beautiful shelves of canned goods and a place to keep the eggs cool. How many remember “cleaning” the eggs or filling the stoker? Some women still have their wringer washer to use for “special laundry”.

At least we had electricity. Some of our friends and relatives along Route 190 didn’t get electricity until 1946 or after the war.  Some country folks didn’t get electricity until the rural electric companies came on the scene. That meant no indoor plumbing either, just that old outhouse out by the chicken coop.

Most of the people did have a telephone because the small towns had their own telephone companies, where you could ring up your neighbor with a long and a short or two shorts and a long. Many people just picked up the phone then to listen and  find out what was happening. My grandma and her sister always spoke German on the phone because not everyone could understand them. What would some old timers do if they came back and saw a “smart phone?”

Remember all the canning and freezing of fruits and vegetables. Back in the 50”s most of us were stay at home moms. There’s something to be said for that life style. Some of my daughters, daughters-in-law and granddaughters still do some of that canning. My sister cans everything. We would have the canners going and the kettles steaming on the stove on those hot summer days. We made ketchup also and that took a lot of cooking down and steaming. I still have my old bottle capper (for ketchup) but now it just serves as an ornament on the shelf in my “office.” It was sure rewarding to look at all the canned goods on the shelves in the basement. The colors were great, with tomatoes, peaches, pickles and pickled red beets. One summer we did 100 quarts of tomatoes. My mom and I worked together on this. We could do three hampers of tomatoes in a day. My daughters got into this, too, like stomping the cooked tomatoes into juice.

Ironing was another hot job. Wash and wear fabrics were just coming on the scene. I was blessed with a little neighbor girl named Jan, who loved to iron so she came over and ironed most of the clothes for me. Remember dampening the clothes and putting them in a bag in the refrigerator until ironing time?

As for farmers, it was always hot at hay-making time. My hottest job was pulling the bales off the conveyor while my brother stacked them in the mow. I didn’t have to do that very often. My farm chores usually consisted of feeding the hogs and the chickens and gathering eggs. Naturally, we had to mow grass and it wasn’t with a rider. Everyone had that old style push type. We didn’t worry about mowing twice a week to have that nicely manicured lawn. Now I enjoy riding around on that Cub Cadet — when it’s not too hot.
Now to get back to this wonderful early spring — we practically had no winter. We’ve already had five or six days of record-breaking warm temperatures. I celebrated the last day of winter by spraying Round-up on the weeds. Many people were out mowing lawns on that last day of winter.

Our winter should be good for the fuel bill, unless the AEP finds another way to jack up the prices. I must confess, I do like winter. It’s so restful. It’s nice to put on a cozy sweat suit and fuzzy slippers and do a little scrapbooking. It wasn’t cold enough to “don” some of those favorite sweat suits. I’ll put them back in the upstairs closet for next year.

There were some drawbacks to our mild winter. There wasn’t much ice fishing for the outdoorsman. Last year my nephew and my son-in-law supplied me with enough Lake Erie Walleye and  farm  pond  perch  and blue gill to carry me through lent.
My wintertime goal was to rid my house of clutter before the tulips came up. The tulips came up a month early and my projects are not finished. So let’s enjoy the daffodils, forsythia and all the other signs of spring.

Even my cloves bush is ready to bloom. The fragrance of that heirloom bush is wonderful. 

Have a great day!


Last Updated on Tuesday, November 06, 2012 3:37 PM

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