WASHING THE FLOOR

On Saturday morning, we’d wash the floor. It was wood. Mama would splash the water on one part of the floor. Each girl would do one part of the floor. One of us would scrub that part. Then, in the meantime, my mother would pour out some water in another place where another sister was. We’d scrub and then rinse and wring out the mop. My mother would throw more water and we’d rinse our section and then go to the next section.

We had to throw the water out in the backyard. If it had bleach in it, we had to be careful that we didn’t throw it where there was something planted. We threw it on the poison ivy plants hoping to kill them.

It was such a godsend when my father installed a pump in the kitchen with a handle, and we didn’t have to go down to the well to carry it all up to the kitchen from downstairs. Buckets and buckets all day long.

It made us tough. We accepted everything, especially when the depression came. We made do and we were glad for what we had, happy that we had what we had. We thought we had more than other people. We were never hungry. You could go out and pull a carrot from the garden and eat it. I did that many a time.

My mother would say, “Be a niza gal. I give you something nice when I got ‘em.”