Monday, September 8

Those Were the Days

I was sitting here tonight thinking about how prices have escalated and how modern conveniences have made our work load easier. When I was young, we had an old wringer washing machine, no dryer, a Quebec heater in the kitchen for warmth and an oil stove in the living room. There was no furnace, no indoor plumbing of any kind and no microwaves, computers or even a TV for that matter.

In those days, a modern kitchen looked like this:

We had nothing like this. Our cupboards were made of plywood and we had linoleum on the floor. I remember Dad bringing home a TV when I was 12. It was a small 15 inch black and white and we used rabbit ears to bring in Buffalo, Toronto, Hamilton and Kitchener. That was the only four TV channels that we were able to get.

Mom had a wringer washer and a washtub. All clothes were hung on the clothesline in all four seasons. I've brought clothes in from the line frozen stiff. They then had to be thawed and ironed. We had a Westinghouse refrigerator that had a small freezer about 12 x 12 inches. Ice built up on it rather quickly and it had to be defrosted at least once a week.

Grandma wasn't as lucky as Mom. She had a washing machine that was hand pumped. I thought my arms would fall off from pumping that washing machine when I was a child. Grandma also hung her clothes on the line in all four seasons. She didn't have a refrigerator, but an ice box. Grandpa didn't have electricity installed in the house until 1963.

Those were different times, but as I sat here thinking about all the work we had to do when I was a child, I would go back to that time without blinking an eye. Yes, we worked hard but in those days everyone pulled together to get things done. There was a bond there that couldn't be broken. It was a slower paced life and I miss those times.

How many of you remember the times when people helped each other out and wasn't afraid to trade or share what they had? Food for thought.

Have a great week and remember to give thanks for blessings received. ~Blessings, Mary~


  1. oh my goodness I remember my mother had a wringer washing machine...

  2. Just found your delightful blog -thanks to Hootin Anni--who I agree is a fun lady. Enjoyed reading back through several posts. I'll visit often.

  3. My paternal grandmother had a wringer, too, Mary. She'd also hang out her clothes during all 4 seasons.

    People today don't realize how good they have it - automatic washers and dryers, dishwashers, microwaves, hair dryers, curling irons, electric irons, electricty to light and power everything, computers, etc....

    Convienience. We didn't have most of the above when I was growing up.

    When my 1st husband and I got married, his grandparents lived in a mill village house in a small town south of Atlanta. Their home didn't have hot water. We went and bought them a heater but Papa wouldn't accept it. He said that the house done got old with him and Ruby - that they'd been heating up water all of their lives, and now they was too old to get in the tub and enjoy it. lol

    But point is, we too rented a house there for a few years. We had hot water but no washer and dryer - so if I couldn't get to town to do laundry, I had to wash by hand. It's constant when you have a baby - I washed diapers on a scrub board every day.

    No central air and heat - it got cold at night during the winter time.

    But we had time to be together as a family every day - we read and studied or just kicked back and talked.

    Today, video games and technology has taken over our lives. If we had to do without most of our luxaries, most people wouldn't know how to act.

  4. This was such a good post, Mary!
    Hearing how things were for you when you were younger really puts things into perspective!
    I always was amazed how many changes my grandparents and even my parents had seen in their lifetime, but now- even myself now that I'm in my mid-40's- it's just amazing how much technology has grown since I was a kid!
    I so remember having those little tvs with fuzzy channels before there was such a thing as cable...
    we only had rotary dial phones and thought it was so exciting to get push buttons (so never mind cell phones or caller ID or call waiting or...everything else!)
    And then, as addicted as most of us to our computers, it's hard to imagine that having a computer be as common as a TV in the home was once a laughable concept and totally non-existent! But I didn't even have a computer or e-mail until 1997 when my husband and I got one as newlyweds. It was a good thing, too, since he had one more long deployment to endure and his ship had just finally gotten e-mail access!

    Thanks for making me think of all of today's luxuries that most of us now take for granted!


  5. Oh do I remember all of the things you wrote about! I remember when the first color tvs came out and we knew of one family in a town 17 miles away that had one and we thought that was just amazing! We thought they were rich beyond anything we could imagine! Our old wringer washer was something we kids couldn't get near as my mother was always so afraid we would get our hands caught in it. She'd bring the clothes in from the line in the winter and stand my father's pants up in the corner to make us all laugh. Her poor hands would be red and raw from being out in the cold. When we finally got indoor plumbing that was just the best thing!!! lol! I hated that old two holer, I always thought the spiders would come up and bite my bum! Thanks for taking me on a walk down memory lane tonight!!

  6. Yes! Yes! I can go back to the good ol' days too. The thing I would LOVE to do away with is the phones!!!

    I remember back in my youth my grandmother's stove. It was a wood burning stove..and her baked goods just can't be copied. Everything tasted so good and delicious with that stove. Then, a coal stove. Even coal heat. I recall a WHOLE room in the cellar that was filled each winter from floor to ceiling with coal. And a huge truck coming and dumping coal through the coal shute at the side of the a huge window.

    And the windmill!! This is where we got water. with lard...oh my.

    All the hard labor back in those days, but people were happy. Happier than today's times I think.

    Great thoughts of days gone by Mary. Brings back a lot of fond memories.

    [you say things about bonding...neighbors ---even MILES away were always there with a helping hand. Today, your next door neighbor in BIG city life, are doing good if you have a 'hello' from them when passing by.]

  7. First of all....I love your new header and background!!! It is just wonderful!!!!

    Oh, Mary, I do remember living in a small little town of about 60 people...and people really did pitch in and help others who needed the help. It's not that way where I live now! I would love to go back and live in the little town where I grew up as people there still help others in need! Life today is something else, isn't it? Too fast paced for me! We may have all the new inventions to make life easier, but I would love to live in pioneer days myself. People really did love each other back then and they all had to pull together just to survive. What's it's going to be like in another 20 years!??

    I have been out of touch lately as I am caring for my son's 2 very ill cats. One has cancer and just finished radiation for the second time...first time was end of March or first of April. Her tumor shrunk away entirely then! But it came back 4 months later, so he had the radiation repeated again. She is so thin and not much of an appetite. The other one has severe heart condition and thin, too. Both are on appetite stimulant by prescription, but they won't eat much, so I am hand feeding them, sometimes baby food with a syringe. One is on 2 medications and the other takes 5 meds. Keeps me busy as I have 7 of my own on medications, too! I have 33 cats of my own plus his 2 to care for every day. PLUS, i work 2 jobs, from home, thank goodness! Or I would never be able to do what I am doing for these pitiful little animals.

    I am so far behind in reading blogs that I wonder if I'll ever get caught up. I am trying.....

    Anyhow, I so enjoyed this post!!! The kitchen pic is "IN" now as retro is back!

    (((((( HUGS ))))))

  8. Thanks for this touching post my friend, love you.

  9. We were just talking about that in church yesterday comparing our lives today to the lives of those in the early church. Our pastor's goal for our church is to have a community again. Oh a side note, I have some magazines from the late 50's early 60's. I'll take some pics and post just for you Mary.

  10. Mary
    That Paragraph about your Mom is the same for my Mother. Same brand of washer and frig. Do you remember those irons that you had to heat on the stove to iron clothes. I have my Mother's irons. Luck for me when it became my task to iron all the clothes from being dried outside as you say all seasons, we had an electric iron. I am so THANKFUL for electric dryer that gets the wrinkles out especially blue jeans and if we had to do without all our convients of today that is what I would miss most. Until this day I just dispies to iron. I ironed more clothes in my youth than most people iron in an entire lifetime.
    Thanks for taking us down memory lane and making us appreciate all our many things we take for granted. We had to bring every drop of water from about a fourth of a mile away to the house. None was wasted. We did not get plumbing until I was sixteen and I remember what a luxury it was. Peace be with you dear friend.

  11. I don't have memories of the same things..but I do remember a much simpler time.A time when homes were not closed off from visitors.
    Everything did not have to be Martha Stewart perfect.
    Homemade gifts were appreciated because they came from the heart and took time.
    If someone was sick....everyone helped out. People showed up with food. People wanted to share their lives.
    Community.....where has it gone.
    I did get to experience this for a little while at our last church...but as soon as the bond was destroyed. Sad. day we will have it again. And it will not be ever taken away!

  12. That is so true ! We quickly forget all the comfort we have now and what our mothers had, not to speak about my grandma !
    My kitchen is also white and red !
    Happy that you liked "my" castle !

  13. Mary,

    What lovely memories of the old days. We came to America in 1951 and our first wringer washer was a real luxury for my grandmother! She was thrilled with it. And when the first little black and white TV's came out, Grandpa bought one right away. Although he barely spoke English back then, he would be glued to the set when wrestling was on. LOL. The rest of the time my friends and I watched it. Grandma never liked television.

    I enjoyed your memories, and it is so true, people were so much closer then.

    By the way, I also want to wish you a Happy First Anniversary as a blogger! YAY, for Mary!!!!

    Oh, and if you talk to Hootin Anni, would you tell her I tried so hard to post a comment on her blog yesterday afternoon, but could not. I did want to say hello and thank her for her visit and nice wishes. I felt bad that I couldn't. Thank you, Mary.



  14. Interesting post … I remember for sure! Sometimes it seems that the very ‘conveniences’ that were supposed to simplify our lives and give us more time … actually ROBBED us of activities that brought families together. Excellent food for thought ;--)
    Hugs and blessings,

  15. I used a wringer washer until 1968!
    My Dad didn't get our family a TV until 1955!
    I will have to come back later and read all the comments! They all look so interesting!!
    Congrats on Your one year of blogging! This post today shows how much we need you! You can make every day happenings Come alive! Love and Hugs Grams

  16. Yes, more people did seem to help each other out back then. i do remember that. Also do you remember just getting in the car on Sunday afternoons and taking a drive. Then just stopping in at someone's home unannounced? We did that so much. I usually loved it...Times have changed..

  17. What a fun post. I was born in 1960 so there weren't many wringers around, but I remember watching my aunt use hers. I grew up on a farm and I remember my Mom working hard, canning and freezing lots of produce, hanging clothes out, ironing... We really are spoiled now.

  18. I barley recall my mom wringer and I heard about my grandmothers hand pump washer.
    But sometime I thought my life was a lot simpler with out lot of stuff.
    The coffee is on.

  19. Great food for thought! I think some of our "modern day conveniences" may be the end of civilization as we know it. :(


  20. I remember when my dad bought our first colour tv...we were so in awe of it, my brothers and I must have sat there for hours just watching every show in colour! lol I also remember my mom's ringer washing machine and how I use to love being on the other side and pull on the clothes as they'd come out of the ringer, flat as a pancake:-) I remember the ironing board that was built into the kitchen'd open up a door and out would come the ironing board, ready to use. Yes, it was a lot of hard work back then to do anything but life was so much simpler and as you said, people stuck together and helped each other out. Wonderful post my friend. xoxo

  21. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY FOR YOUR ONE YEAR BLOG!!!!!!!!!! Today is my older brothers birthday....... YEAH........... I love having met you!!!!!!!!!

  22. Mary,

    My mother had a wringer washer when I was about four or five years old. She had to do the laundry in the kitchen, I guess to fill it with water. I don't remember when she got a washer, but I think she got a dryer at about the same time. I think that a very big deal, which I can understand with six kids - three in diapers. LOL

    Another sign of the times comes to mind when reading about bringing in frozen clothes from the line - this a bit different. When I was a young woman, I met some people who were very environmentally aware and who were among the very few that learned the lesson of the Oil Embargo to the 70's. They made a life long commitment to live without a modern convenience in order to use less energy. Their choice was a what was then and still is an energy hog - a clothes dryer. I was very impressed by this and decided to make the same commitment. Over the years, I have brought many frozen clothes into the house. LOL


  23. Mary,

    I marked my calendar and still missed the big day. :-(

    So late as I am, I am back to say:

    Happy 1st Blogaversary,

    Love & hugs,

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