Tuesday was ironing day. The kitchen range was fired up again to heat the flat irons. The irons had a removable handle, and as the iron cooled, it was put back on the range to be reheated, and the handle snapped on to a freshly heated iron. Everything had to be ironed - sheets, pillow cases, shirts, dresses, underwear. There were no such thing as a no-iron fabric.
Of course, while all of this was going on, daily tasks had to be carried on. Cooking three meals a day, cows to be milked, chickens to be fed and watered, eggs to be gathered, dished to be washed, garden to be planted, hoed, gathered and in season, canning, picking fruit, sewing, mending, caring for the sick and trying to be a wife to a man who maybe bathed and shaved once a week.
It was also up to the Mother to set three meals a day on the table seven days a week. She had to do this without ever going into a super market in her entire life. No quick trips to the butcher shop, pizza joint, the Colonels or McDonalds. Everyone in the family sat down together for all three meals and ate what was on the table, however good or uneatable it was. If one shoved his plate back once or twice, the most common food became a gourmetís delight. When times were tough, a meal might consist of fried potatoes, cornbread and syrup. Or maybe a big bowl of polk salad with a few slices of fat sows belly. No one was begged to eat. In fact, I believe one could have staged a week hunger strike without anyone attracting any notice.
This was before womenís lib. Once a woman married, there was no way to go back. Of course there were kind, considerate men then, as there are now, but there were others who were born bullies. The weaker female had to humbly take what ever abuse came her way because the wife and children were the property of the head of the house, the same as was a goat or mule.
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