Tecumseh news: Nov. 29, 2017

Our thoughts and prayers are sent out for all servicemen and women serving our country who are not able to be home with their families during the holidays.

Sandi Chrietzberg Richards came from Ben Wheeler, Texas, and stayed until Sunday with her best friend, Kris Luebbert. Allen Lueppert and his daughter Alexus Owens went with them to Silver Dollar City on Saturday. 

Looking through our new 2017 Ozark County Cookin’ is interesting – and makes me hungry as I find new recipes I want to try.

Remember: providing fresh food and water for outdoor pets and a warm place to sleep is extra important in the wintertime.

It looks like most of the leaves have fallen off my shade trees. The tree limbs are looking bare! Some folks have taken advantage of the nice weather to plant fall bulbs so they will bloom in the spring.

Thanks to all who do the extra work to put up Christmas decorations and lights for all of us to enjoy. Our neighbor Tim Lee has his yard looking very festive. Many years ago, I was a close friend and schoolmate with his mother, the late Mary Nesbitt Lee.

My great-granddaughter Tara Hensley Hendricksen and her son Gabe Hathcock from Arkansas visited her grandparents, Dave and Karen Davis in Udall for Thanksgiving.

Jerry Miller is  hanging out her laundry on the clothesline Monday morning as I’m writing these items. Hanging clothes on the line is almost a forgotten art nowadays with our automatic washers and dryers. Seeing Jerry at work reminded me of past years when Saturdays were washdays for me when I was school age. My mother died when I was 13, and Daddy and I kept house, and I did all the laundry and would wash clothes on a washboard in a tub in the kitchen with hot water from the reservoir in the wood-burning cookstove. Then I would hang the clothes out on the line. In the winter, the clothes would freeze out on the line, and my fingers would get so cold they would stick to the clothes or the clothesline. Back then a good washboard was a treasured necessity. It took lots of scrubbing that was hard on the knuckles. Really, those were pretty good days – because we didn’t know any better! I often wonder how today’s younger generations could accept these old-time methods. I doubt if they’d get very much washing done! Nowadays, it doesn’t take much effort: just open the lid to the washer, drop in the clothes and turn the water on. Simple – as long as the well doesn’t go dry.

When my first two babies were little, in 1940 and 1942, our dear neighbor lady, Eva Blackshear, did our laundry. She went to the creek to do her washing, and she did my laundry, including sparkling white clothes she boiled with lye soap in an iron kettle over a fire. She was God’s angel here on earth for us and our family.

In past years we had a cistern that caught the rain water from our two-story house. “Dug” wells were here and there, and if you didn’t have enough water at home, you took your washing to the creek, as Eva did. 

Thinking of sparkling white clothes reminded me of the treasured white sacks the chicken feed and “laying mash” would come in. We would launder those feed sacks and use them for straining the syrup in the making of sorghum molasses back in the late 1930s and early 40s. Those were tiring, long days but also a joyous time too in the making of our favorite sweetener.

This time of year also reminds me that we butchered hogs when the weather got cold in the fall. We rendered the lard in an iron kettle outside over a fire and used some of it to make lye soap, something I learned to do after my mother passed away. We would let it set a few days in the kettle, covered, then go back with a butcher knife and cut it into bars and store them for use year-round. We used that soap for everything--the laundry and the dishes and ourselves. We didn’t have storebought bars of soap or boxes of powdered soap. It worked!  

Yes, memories are made of this!  And no happenings today seem to compare to them.

Monday evening, the Gainesville Eastern Star chapter had its meeting with Paralee Rea and Jim McConnaughy in the East, and they enjoyed a good Thanksgiving time and dinner with guests from West Plains, Mountain Home and Theodosia chapters present. I certainly miss attending. My membership dates back over 55 years. 

Congratulations to Marv Looney as he reached his 90th birthday. Enjoy your journey, Marv. 

Ozark County Times

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PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423