Our Yesterdays
by Zelia E. Davis

From: Goshen Trails, April 1982
Printed by permission


          In the fall we children had to put on long, heavy fleeced underwear.  Some children we knew wore red flannels.  It was so hard to get our long black ribbed stockings over the legs of the underwear.  When they had just been washed they fit pretty well but by the weekend they had stretched at the ankles.  We sometimes had to fold them over at the shoe top and it made an ugly hump.  We, one good thing about it, most children were just like us.

          We each had two pair of underwear and changed each weekend.  At that time we wore high topped shoes the year round.  There were no slippers.

          We always wore high shoes that either laced or buttoned.  There were fourteen eyelets in each shoe.  The boys' shoes had brass hooks.  The strings were hooked over them just like the girls were laced through the eyelets.

          On Saturday nights the wash tubs were brought into the kitchen for our weekly bath.  A big, brass-bottomed wash-boiler on the stove furnished the hot water.  The cold water was drawn from the outside well and brought in in buckets.  The girls bathed first, then off to bed.  Then it was the boys turn.

          When the first of May came, we could pull off our winter underwear, but not before.  How light and free we felt.  We could also go barefoot.  The first day of May might be a little cool but we could go barefoot anyway.

          Also, on the first day of May, the heating stoves were taken down and put away in the smokehouse until another winter.

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