Monday, December 3, 2012

A DECEMBER WASHDAY



We do enjoy our evening’s reading. We have a lot of National Geographics to read – also Collier’s, the Post, Ladies’ Home Journal, three Copper monthlies, Pathfinder, Daily Chronicle, Clearwater Tribune, and M.W.A. monthly. Also Christian Herald. Ina to Vance, 1935

I’m so tired of all the magazine advertising! [The lack of advertising] alone makes the Reader’s Digest a treasure. Don’t you get tired of looking at pictures of blasé men and wanton women, whose only idea is to look ‘smart’ and show their clothes . . . Ina to Vance, 1936 

December 1936
Here it was again – Monday washday. Mundane chores don’t stop just because Christmas is coming, Ina mused to herself. Today she would wash their clothes in much the same way she had these forty-five years of marriage. Now the load seemed light as compared to the years when the children were at home. Jack had helped her by placing the big pail of water on the stove to heat before he went to do the morning chores. Today she would need just one wash water and one rinse.
 
The sky promised to be clear today. Ina could see the sun rising over the field to the east. Though the winter rain and snow were so important to the success of their crops, it was still a treat to have a sunny day. She hurried to wash the clothes so that she could hang them on the screen porch where Jack had strung a rope clothesline for her. Taking advantage of the sun’s warmth, the clothes might get mostly dry before dark, and then she could just spread the damp ones to dry before the kitchen stove this evening.


As she worked, Ina looked forward to her favorite time of day -- the long winter evenings. After an early light supper at the kitchen table, she and Jack would settle down in companionable silence to read under the Aladdin lamp at the dining room table. The lamp provided both light and heat. They both enjoyed history, adventure, and current events. Ina also liked to keep up with the good literature of the day. She liked to think about what she had read and grapple with subjects of substance as she went about her daily chores. Well – but Bertha had given her a current issue of Good Housekeeping magazine. With its advertising of worldly goods and frivolous stories, she didn’t care much for Good Housekeeping, but Ina had decided to at least look through it. With family coming for Christmas, she might find a new idea or two for the holidays – perhaps a new recipe. KW

[The illustration at the top is from the cover of the December 1936 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine. Photo 1 was taken about 1918 when Ina's house was new. Photo 2 is the dining room in the same time frame. But -- things didn't change there.]

6 comments:

Hallie said...

If you zoom in to the house picture, what do you suppose I'm seeing at the bottom left? A couple of barrels?

Kathy said...

If I can zoom, I guess I don't know how. But it looks like a couple of barrels to me. The house is still in the finishing stages.

Chris said...

Another Ina post! Love it. How blessed we are to have our washers and (in the winter) our dryers.

I love her comment to your Dad about the advertisements. What ever would she think of today's?! They're awful and one of the reasons I won't subscribe to Better Homes and Gardens, even for a measly $5 for a year's subscription.

As to zooming in, click on the picture, then hold down the control key and punch the + key. It will go up by 10% increments. You'll have to reduce it back down by using the control key and the - sign.

Kathy said...

Hi Chris! I agree with you about magazine advertising. Years ago Mike commented that the publishers should pay me to take the magazine. I admit that I subscribed to BHG, but I won't do it again -- they offer so little helpful info. And now the website has become so cluttered with ads that it's difficult to navigate. And I think advertising in general is over the top, to the point that it doesn't make sense. Whatever happened to "Plop plop, fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is." Doesn't it say something that after more than half a century I can still sing that? And I don't even use that product!

Thanks for telling me how to zoom. I figured there was a way known to retired teachers, savvy daughters, and computer tutors. But, let me say, it feels like holding my nose with my left hand while holding my right ankle with my right, then hopping forward to raise it by 10% increments and hopping backwards to lower. I'll have to write it down. I fear I won't remember the next time.

Mike said...

It's a little surprising to me how much the back of the house looks the same as now. The most noticeable difference being the roof and an extra chimney.

Hallie said...

I zoomed in using my fingers on the iPad. I didn't know Chris' handy trick, but I think that if you have a mouse with a scroller wheel you can do Shift while scrolling the wheel and that will do it, too.