Home Life As It Was

Jan 24, 2023 | 0 comments


Home Life As It Was

From “Along Mill Bay Road” by Adelaide Ellis

“It is hard for today’s children to imagine a house without a refrigerator, furnace, television or even a radio. In the early days at Mill Bay the house was heated by the kitchen range or a heater or fireplace. Light came from a coal oil lamp. If you went out at night you carried a smoky coal oil Lantern.All the water for bathing, washing or cooking had to be hauled up from the well. Later people installed hand-pumps which had to be primed with a few drops of water before the pump would work. Afterwards all dirty water had to be packed outside and put to good use watering the raspberries or rhubarb.An enamel or china pot under the bed served as a toilet facility during the night or you took a walk to the little house behind the shed.All cooking was done on the kitchen range, including the canning of fruits and vegetables, pickles, jams and venison.Monday usually was washday. The water was heated on the stove, which had to be kept going with wood.  The clothes were boiled, then scrubbed on a washboard with large cakes of Felsnaptha soap. The washing was rinsed in clear water then in blued water. It was either wrung out by hand or by means of a roller wringer if the lady of the house had one. Then it was hung out on the line;if it was raining, on the indoor dryer.This finally done, Mother would have to prepare supper; probably the remains of Sunday’s roast and fried potatoes with onions. Perhaps a bottle of pears for dessert.If the laundry was dry after dinner, a tired mother would take it in.  Next day flat irons were heated on the stove and an hour or two of ironing followed.Father wasn’t idle. After his day’s work, he would feed the horse and cow, do the milking, chop the wood and carry it into the house. After dinner he would relax in his easy chair with the newspaper, while the children sat around the kitchen table, doing their homework.”


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