Friday, September 28, 2007

Looking Back

For some reason, the past few days, I've been thinking of the way things were when I was a child. I believe what kicked the memories into gear was watching Kid Nation on Wednesday evening, as I watched one kid who's chore was to pump water, I turned to James and asked him if he remembered having to pump water from an old pitcher pump in the back yard every day.

I remember that being my chore a lot of times when I was about 7 and on up until I was 9 or so when we finally got an electric pump and were able to at least have running water in the kitchen. When we came back from MN, where my dad had been stationed for a year, he left for an overseas tour and we moved into an old house on the Ligon place because it was only a few miles from my grandparents.

I can't remember exactly how long we lived there before moving to a house across the dirt lane from my grandparents, but I do remember a time of hot weather and a time of freezing cold. I also remember pumping water from an old pitcher pump that was in the back yard. I knew, from helping my grandpa and uncles at their house, how to prime the old pump with a little water if none would come out, and even though I had to sort of do a little jump and hop sometimes to get that handle up and down, I was pretty good at filling up the old galvanized bucket that supplied our drinking and cooking water. Another memory is never being able to get a full bucket of water to the house because it was a heavy load for a 7 yr old and I'd usually slosh a lot of it on the ground and all over me before I made it there.

It took a whole lot of buckets full to fill up that #3 wash tub to take a bath or to do fill up the wringer washer to do laundry but we did it and I don't remember being dirty or wearing dirty clothes, ever. Baths in the summer time were easier because we'd just leave the tub on the back porch or in the back yard, hidden behind the house, so it was a shorter trip to tote the water.

The bucket sat in the kitchen and we had a ladle for dipping a drink or for mom to dip up however much she needed to cook with. In the summer the water was great right after it had been pumped and most of the time when we wanted a drink we'd go straight to the pump instead of getting a drink from the bucket in the house. In the winter it would be so cold in the house before mom got a fire started in that cast iron wood stove and we'd have to take the ladle and break the ice layer on top in order to dip out a drink. It was so cold and so good!

Now, I wonder if they filter that water before those kids drink it cause it was a lot cleaner and purer back when pumping water was a way of life for some folks.


Sally said...

I remember those days well, Ms. Brenda. It's the simple things like these memories that help make us apreciate how much easier life is now. But, still, I miss those times.

Cindra said...

Life is easier, but I can't say it is necessarily better. I am always remembering my childhood and how free and easy things were. We were into playing not things! We built things and did things... we didn't own things. I was reading Bill Bryson's book, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, and it sure took me back.
I don't have memories of pumps, but I do have of chores, responsibilities, and fun. You did your chores first and sometimes even made them fun. Miz Brenda, I think your grandchildren still know how to have fun. I see, through your blog, them having fun doing things and playing. Good work!

T*mmy said...

I didn't watch that show...just from the previews though it does look like they are having to rough it!

I don't remember ever having to pump the water...about the only old fashioned thing I had to deal with was an out house from time to time.

Have a great day!

Phyllis said...

I don't remember ever pumping water, but I do remember mom's wringer washer, and ice inside the house!
Nice memories, Miss Brenda. Kids have it way too easy these days!

jazzi said...

Yep, I remember pumping water. Except it was only when I visited my great-grandparent's house. But there was a dipper for getting a drink of water, and everyone drank out of it. You didn't think about it back then.

Joan said...

I remember the pump too. Lord that pail was heavy. There was nothing better than an icy cold drink out of the dipper.

Sally said...

I wish I'd thought to snag the pump when I got the towel rack my grandfather had made (before the house came down). :)

Special K said...

Running water is probably the number 1 thing we take for granted in western civilization. What about those kids in Africa who have to walk for miles and miles to get a couple of buckets of water full of dirt and parasites? Geez.

mreddie said...

This post brought back a lot of memories, except we only had a bucket on a rope to get the water from the well - but the water was always good and cold. We had a spring nearby in which we kept the milk and other perishables cool. ec