Mother's Chores for Monday
Remembrances of my childhood...
I’ve been ask if my mom followed the days of the week Chores Outline, “pretty much,” I said…
Life is certainly easier today than it was; say just 50 - 60 years ago. To help with the many chores around the house, mothers and home makers would organize the essential tasks according to the days of the week, thereby always staying abreast of the dreaded phrase, ‘what’s next’.
Monday’s was always Wash Day!
Monday’s was always Wash Day! I remember watching mom gather all the clothing and bed linens and making at least two and sometimes three piles. She worked rapidly because it was going to take the better part of the day with our family of mom and dad along with four children. Besides the various washing activities she had set aside for today, she needed to also think of the other essential like the meals, sweeping the front porch and walk as well as the kitchen, back porch and steps, getting the kids ready and off to school on time, feeding the dog and planning supper for the family. Remember, there was no TV, so she couldn’t claim that as a distraction if she didn’t get everything finished on the day reserved for that particular task.
she would sit down and ‘look the beans’
After breakfast, the sweepings, and sending my brothers and sister off to catch the school bus, she would get the big kittle or pot out and fill it up about half full of water and place it on the stove to heat up. While the water was heating she would sit down and ‘look the beans’. We always had brown beans, either pinto or Octobers on Monday’s because mom said she didn’t have to watch them as close while she was busy with the other chores. By looking the beans, I mean she would get a handful and look them over closely and pick out any small rocks or an occasion bad bean that didn’t look as fresh or as good as the rest She would then take the good (approved) beans and wash them a couple of times before adding them to the pot of water warming on the stove. She never forgot to cut a piece of ‘fatback’ or side meat and add that to the pot for seasoning. My mom was a great cook and she taught me as she worked about with the other things she had planned for that day.
Did your mom always wash the clothes on Monday?
God gave her the strength to face each day
She washed the whites or light colored clothes first and as soon as she finished them she washed the coloreds or jeans and trousers which were heavier. While the jeans were soaking we would go down the old back steps to hang out the light colored shirts, dresses and the underwear on the clothesline. I remember before she got a washing machine she would scrub the really soiled cloths on an old scrub board and sometimes she would rub the skin from her knuckles, but she said that was alright because her family was depending on her. I remember mom telling my sister that a wife and mother had a big responsibility to her family and she didn’t have time to get sick or anything like that. Mom said God gave her the strength to face each day and as she worked, she would often recite whole chapters of the Bible and sometimes she would sing old time hymns.
She didn’t want them to get all the way dry
Then the jeans that had been soaking and I would get to help her twist the jeans to wring the excess water out. Later she got an old Maytag washing machine with a wringer so she didn’t need me to help. It also speeded things up because the machine did the washing and would also wring the excess water out. If we were able to get all the clothes on the clothesline mom would take a nap after lunch while the clothes were drying on the line. She didn’t want them to get all the way dry so she could iron them neatly the next day, which was Ironing Day…
© 2010 SamSonS