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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday

We didn't always have running water or heat or electricity when I was a kid, my mother often failed to pay the bills and so we would lose out on some of the basic needs in life. The running water problem was often a winter time issue because the pipes would freeze in the frigid Vermont winters. At these times we would have to share some basic things like bath water.
A little history here concerning baths...we were only allowed 1 bath a week each, there were no if's, and's or but's about it (that's what my mother would always say) Me, being the youungest of 7 children...yeah you guessed it...I was always the LAST to get a bath! Now imagine, if you will for one (rather disgusting moment) melting snow in a pot on top of a pot belly wood stove to get the water warm for a bath...or rather a series of baths. We would melt the snow, dump the water into the tub, melt another pot, so on and so forth until the tub was full. Then big brother number 1 got in, followed by big brother number 2, followed by big sister number 1, big sister number 2, big brother number 3, big sister number 3 then finally ME. EWWWWWWWWWW yes, I had to take many cold baths in the same water as the 6 older siblings. Gradually those numbers went down....big brother number 1 moved out, big sister number 1 ran away, big brother number 2 eventually left and so by the time I was 9 it was down to 4 of us and if I was lucky (and the others were fast) I MIGHT get a luke-warm bath and the water was only some-what disgusting. I might even come out feeling half clean.
another problem with no running water...yep you guessed it....no toilet flushing! Seriously we would have to melt snow to pour into the toilet to get it to flush. Now this often happened after a few of us had used the toilet and we lived by the rule of "if it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown melt and flush it down" If the stove wasn't lit it had to sit no matter the color until the stove was ready to melt some snow. We also had problems with affording toilet paper and yes I did learn to wipe on a sears magazine! Tear a page out, tear it in 1/2 then wipe and make sure it goes in the trash barrel and NOT into the toilet where it would clog up the pipes! Yeah our home was pretty gross to say the least! To this day I don't allow Sears magazines to enter my house! Just seeing one makes me cringe and makes my butt sore! You think 1 ply toilet paper at the Walmart restroom is bad, try a sears magazine and you'll have a whole different perspective!
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That was a generalization of life back then for me...here's something specific!
I remember very clearly the first time I swore in front of my mother. Granted, I half deserved my punishment...I was mad at her for hitting me all the time and asked her "Why are you such a BITCH?" Yep I was about 5 years old and I should not have used such a word! Anyway, upon hearing that come out of my mouth I was dragged by the hair of my head to the bathroom where mother discovered there was no more soap, so I was dragged by the hair of my head to the kitchen where there was a bottle of liquid lemon scented Joy. She pulled my hair until I screamed then proceeded to squeeze the bottle and pour the soap down my throat! I choked, I gagged, I spit it out and got more. I puked and was forced to eat it because that was my punishment for calling my mother a bitch!
From that day forward I called her "A witch with a capital B" and never to her face. I wouldn't even say the B word again. To this day, if I say the B word I can taste the soap and then the vomited soap and trust me it was NOT a good flavor! Lemon scented is NOT lemon flavored and in case you were wondering...Joy is not allowed in my house. Once I asked hubby to pick up some detergent so I could wash some pots that were too big to fit into the dishwasher and he brought that stuff home...it went straight back and I exchanged it for something different because I can't abide by it! If we stay at a hotel with a kitchenette in the room and it has Joy, I'll wash the dishes with shampoo before I will touch the stuff and the Joy goes directly into the nearest trash can...I just can't have it around me!
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Well I'm off for the weekend, gotta make it the biggest and bestest of the entire summer since the boy goes back to school starting Tuesday the 1st. I don't know how he managed to grow up so fast and become a 4th grader...hell I remember 4th grade myself! My teacher was Mrs. Kawaski and she was AWESOME! Hopefully Mrs. Montana (no her first name is not Hannah lol) is as wonderful to my son as Mrs. Kawaski was to me :)



1 comment:

Sweet Mama Jones said...

wow...don't have words for what my heart is feeling after reading this. you have an utterly amazing amount of spirit and strength. HUGS! :)