Weekly Schedule

I remember the days before television…


Do chores: clean house, cook, etc. Wash Day: make a fire pit in the back yard. Fill the wash pot with water. Get it to boiling. Do the whites first. Stir around with a big stick. Take out with stick and put in the rinse water with the bluing. Take out, ring out & put into pot with clean rinse water. Ring out (by hand) & hang on line. Then, do the same with coloreds. Took all day, usually Monday. Later, we got a Maytag washer with a ringer that you cranked—it sat on the back porch.


Do chores: clean house, cook, etc. Ironing day—set up ironing board. Do the shirts, dresses & pants. Blue jeans had to be creased. Sheets & pillow cases folded just right. Everything hung on hangers & put away. Took all day…


Do chores: clean house, cook, etc. Wednesday was baking day. I was almost a teenager before we got rid of the wood cook stove and got a butane stove. That’s about the same time we got the bathroom built in the house. Before then, we bathed in a #3 washtub (same one we washed clothes in) in the kitchen, because we heated the water on the wood cook stove. If the water wasn’t too dirty, the next one would use the same water. Back to the baking on Wednesdays — bread— enough for the week. Cakes, cookies and any sweets for the week.


Do chores: Cook. Thorough house cleaning, such as taking mattresses, cushions, stuffed furniture outside to be beaten and sunned.


…was grocery shopping (after you did your morning chores—cleaning house, cooking, etc) We did out own canning. Grew most vegetables, raised a couple of pigs and had a few chickens.


Our potty was out back in the outhouse. It was a “one-holer.” It was kept very clean, by using lime to break down the deposits and smell—Saturdays.


A day of rest. But first—your chores. Cook for a crowd ‘cause Sunday was “Family Day.”Go to school (do your chores before and after)

Chores included: make breakfast, clean up afterwards, make the beds, sweep and mop. Make lunch, which was red beans and cornbread or any leftovers from the day before. Clean up. Start prepping for supper at 6:00pm. After supper, clean up, wash dishes, dry with a towel, and put away. Feed and water the chickens, gather eggs in the afternoon. Do the gardening because most of our vegetables were gathered, eaten and canned for the winter months—this included beans, peas, corn, okra, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes. Some years we grew peanuts. We had peaches, grapes and would do pecans on the halves—we pickup—keep half.

We would raise two hogs; which Daddy would butcher in the Fall. That had to last all year. We traded eggs for fresh cow’s milk—a friend had a cow. After MaMa and Daddy moved from the farm (before I was born) and moved up to the old house, we didn’t have a cow. Also, sold eggs to the grocery store in exchange for groceries. MaMa took in ironing and washing (when she was able). I helped. Daddy would go hunting for deer, rabbit, etc. He would trotline fish and gig for frogs. He trapped on the side, when he didn’t have much carpentry work and sharpened saws. Frankie went to work helping Daddy build houses, when he was about 10 to12 years old. When MaMa got too sick, I took over the household chores. I started cooking at about five years old. At night, after supper, we would gather around the radio and listen to GunsmokeThe ShadowArthur GodfreyJack BennyAmos and Andy and The Grand ‘Ole Opry.

We would listen to a couple of shows and go to bed about 8:00 – 9:00pm sometimes. Had to get up early—chores, schools and more chores. You know, I don’t remember being bored and having nothing to do. Didn’t do a whole lot of playing.

Some of the things we played was hide & seek, jump rope, jacks, make mud pies, make a lot of our toys out of wood scraps. After Frank went to work, he bought himself and me a bicycle. He had a BB gun, too. We’d go fishing, camp out, craft things, play cars in the dirt, Simon Says, Red Rover, I Spy, build a tree house/clubhouse, go swimming, ride bikes, play dress-up, string buttons, puzzles and board games. We always had 10 or 15 kids at our house in the evenings and weekends. I did a lot of baby-sitting, some of them as old as myself. We lived close to the school and all the school teachers and all their kids were at our house. They would leave me in charge. Well, I got off on another track, but it all worked in together because Dorothy’s kids were there too.

We didn’t have carpet—wood, splintery floors and luck if they had linoleum on them. You’d sweep the dirt into the cracks and then scrub with hot sudsy water—they were worn pretty slick, but once in a while you’d get a big ‘ole splinter in your foot. I had to have one cut out. Daddy cut part of it out, But ended up having to go to Shannon Hospital for surgery to get it all. That was a long trip. I had to stand up in the front seat with my foot on a towel (old ’49 Chevy 4-door with Suicide Doors). I couldn’t sit down or ride in the back because I would get carsick. So, here we went, speeding to San Angelo—I bet we were going 45 mph!

I guess we had it rough, but we didn’t know any better—actually, I think we were better off than most people. We were rich! We just had to work hard to have it. Frank and I would go around town and pick up coke bottles to sell for 3 cents each, so we could go to the movies—it cost 12 cents to get into the movies, so we would have 3 cents for the penny machines. One penny would buy a hand-full of candy—Boston Baked Beans, Gumballs or Milk Duds. Popcorn was 5 cents—that was a lot of money. We would look for coke bottles all week—we lived close to the school and football field. Early Saturday morning, we would go over to look under the bleechers (sic.) and kick the gravel around (all around the concession stand). Sometimes, we were lucky and would find money—nickels, dimes, pennies. People were pretty careful—they didn’t lose too much. Wending machines were a good place to find change, too. You need a good long stick to fit underneath and rake it out.

Calder, Key & Smith A Family Archive Y'all…