Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The New Wood Range

Years before when we had appliances at the Mrs. P.Y. Waters Grocery we had sold several Wood Ranges to customers, but as more and more customers got electricity they purchased electric ranges and used the old wood ranges for storage or put them out in the yard to cook outdoors.

We had a customer who lived way out in the country and she would come to town once a month pulling her little red wagon bring fresh eggs and butter and quilts and jams and jellies to swap for things that she needed at home.

She would always stop by the store and pay on her bill before going home. Dad would let her store anything perishable in a refrigerator that we stored cold soft drinks in until she was ready to go home.

This one day when she came in she said she needed to purchase a new wood range as hers had rusted out and she couldn't store hot water in in anymore. Dad got out an Atlanta Stove Works Catalog and let her browse through it until she found what she wanted. He told her that he would pick it up on the following Tuesday and we would deliver it to her on the Wednesday following.

Wednesday morning we went to unload it from the truck that he had gone to Atlanta in onto a pickup truck. It was so heavy that it took four of us to move it from one truck to the other. We decided that we would wait to assemble it when we got to her house and we could carry it in easier.

We got to her house and I got to see the first bottle tree that I had ever seen. As she would pull her wagon back home she would pick up colored beer and wine bottles that were thrown out on the side of the road and take them home in her wagon. She would take the bottles and put them over the end of the small branches in her trees and as the sun would shine through the trees the bottles would gleam and glisten in the sun. She also took the bottles and used them at the edges of her walkway to her front door. She would dig a trench and put the necks of the bottles in the ground and use the bottoms lined in a row on the edges of the walk way.

She had plastic flowers hanging all along her fence in the front of her house and in her shrubs. She said that all of the graveyards that she would pass on her walk home would throw out the old arrangements and she would get them to use in her yard. "She was being green long before we ever knew what being green meant."

We went into her kitchen and moved out her old wood range and set it out in her barn for her. We assembled the new wood range and carried it into her kitchen. The new wood range was much heavier than her older one and as we set it into place on the floor the floor sagged under the weight. We had to make a trip into town to get some cement block to put under the floor to support the weight of the range. We finally were able to get it leveled and the floor supported for her.

She fed us some homemade coconut cake and some peach tea for all of our effort and let us know that now she could finally take her a warm bath because she had her hot water tank (that didn't leak), on her new stove.

As it only holds about five gallons of water hot as the stove cooks we knew that she would have a little wait before she was ready for that warm bath.

Washing Day

We had a loyal customer when I was growing up that I remember taking many new items of furniture to her home.

She had raised a large family in Banks County and had done all of this without electricity, and the convenience that went with it.

One day she was snapping peas from her garden when I got to her home to collect her payment on her bill. She invited me to set down and she let me know that she was thinking about purchasing a new washer and dryer for herself and doing away with her wringer washer.

If you have a few minutes I want to tell you why I've come to this decision.

As you know my youngest son got a divorce in the Spring and moved back home until he decided where he was going to move to. He moved all of his furniture that he had and we stored in in the barn.

Every Monday when I get out the wringer washer to do my laundry he tells me to call out a plumber and an electrician to wire and plumb the back porch for his washer and dryer and use them instead of being tied to the wringer washer until you finish my wash.

I told him, "Thank You," but I have raise my family doing it with a black cast iron pot, first building the fire and then drawing up the water from the well and getting it hot in the pot to wash and rinse my clothes and now that I have been using this wringer washer since then, this way is ok with me.

Yes, you have to stay with the washer to make sure that the washer doesn't walk off of the porch and you have to be careful when you wring the clothes through the wringers. You have to refill the tub with rinse water and I always put this water on my plants so I don't waste the water.

Well, a good friend of mine had gotten sick and I went and helped her out for a spell until she got back on her feet. When I got home I had a surprise waiting for me on the back porch. My son had paid to have a plumber and an electrician come out and plumb and wire the back porch for his washer and dryer, and there they were sitting there waiting to be used.

Now you already know what I'm going to say, when wash day came around I went out to the barn to get out the wringer washer to bring back to the porch. I tried to put it back in its place on the porch bout I couldn't get it up the steps by my self. The little devil on my shoulder said, go ahead and use it and you can still hang your clothes out on the line. Well I listened, and I used the washer like he had shown me and then I hung my clothes on the line to dry.

When supper came, and we were all setting around the table the conversation came up about the laundry. Why did you hang the clothes on the line and how did you wash the clothes. Not wanting to admit that I had given in and used the washer, I said, I like hanging my clothes on the clothes line because they smell so fresh and clean from the sunshine. My son said, "What would you have done if it was raining?" "Just like I've always done, hang them up in the house and on the front and back porch to dry.

Well two weeks ago my son moved back out and got an apartment in Gainesville closer to his job. He took all of his things with him, even the washer and dryer. I had him put the old wringer washer back out on the back porch so I could start using it again.

When wash day rolled around I got everything together just like I had done for years, but somehow it just wasn't the same. I had to stay there with the washer to keep it from rolling off of the porch and I guess I was just getting to be a softie. Well so, here is what I need to know, how soon can I get a new washer and dryer?
I said how about this evening, will that be soon enough. When I get back to town I will get you a plain washer and dryer just like you requested and I will fill out your contract and when I come back this evening to install them on your porch you can sign the contract.

You make thing so easy for me, I want to "Thank You for listening to my story and I really appreciate your help with the peas.

Later that evening we delivered the washer and dryer and she was all set for Wash Day.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day