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Chapter 6

Bath Time

As stated earlier there was no running water in the house. All the water that was used
had to be carried by bucket from the windmill. This included all drinking water, water
used for cooking, washing dishes, washing clothes and bathing. Now, stop and think
about all the water you use each day and think what it would be like to have to carry all
that water in two gallon buckets from a well a hundred yards from the house. You
would learn to conserve all the water you could.

Dad always tried to keep 3 buckets of water on a shelf in the kitchen with a dipper
hanging on the wall beside them. If mother needed any water for her cooking she would
get the dipper, dip out what water she needed and hang the dipper back up. If anyone
wanted a drink of water they would get a dipperful out of a bucket and drink it right out
of the dipper and then hang the dipper back up for the next person to use. Not very sanitary.

Now, for your bath time. If it was cold weather you would fill a couple of large pots with
water and place them on the wood stove to heat the water. While that water was heating
you would go back to the well and get more water to have to cool the hot water with
when you pour it into the tub.

You now go outside and get one of the #2 galvanized wash tubs and bring in and put by
the wood stove. Thatís right, you bath in the same tub you wash your clothes in. When
the water in the pots on the stove get hot, you pour them into the tub and then pour
enough of the cold water in to get it to the temperature you want. By this time you
should have enough water in the tub to bath in. You would then put another pot of water
on the stove to heat up to have to warm up the bath water for the last person to take a bath.

Mother always gave me a bath first, then she took a bath and dad would be the last to get
a bath. That way one tub of water would be enough for the whole family to bath in.

In the summertime things were done a little differently in order to avoid heating the
house up too much by firing up the wood stove. The wash tub was put outside on the
south side of the house and filled with water in the morning. After setting out in the sun
all day, by late afternoon the water would be well above 90 degrees and ready for a bath.
Remember, our nearest neighbors were a mile away and we had no traffic by our house,
so we had complete privacy to bath wherever we wanted to.

What about our other bath facilities? That was a little outhouse out back. One thing that
I could never figure out is why they always put the door on the south side and the
cleanout opening on the north side. That sure made it rough in the winter time.

I remember one spring when a windstorm blew down our outhouse and the only place we
had to go for a while was out behind the barn.

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