Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

It’s Cold!

15 Jan 2013 | : blog

The temperatures have been mighty cold for Utah’s Dixie in the southwest corner of the state.   And with freezing and below it is even cold in my old adobe house.  Getting into the low 40′s at night inside the house.  But can’t complain.

My mother died last June in her 96th year.  She’d always say that “the ‘good old days’ weren’t all that good.”  Then she’d go on to explain.  When she was first alive in Springdale, Utah at the mouth of the Zion National Park canyon, before it was a park, her family lived in a slap board house on the west side of the road up the canyon, at the foot of a clay hill.  The clay would get mighty sticky and clomp onto one’s shoes when it was wet.  The bathroom facilities were up that hill to a private place, “the trench”.  If one had diarrhea, then they would be “trenching it” meaning they had to return up and down the trail more often than normal. 

I complain about having to get out of my warm bedding on a night as of late when it’s chilly and go to a cold bathroom to use the toilet.  Can you imagine making your way to the trench in the cold, rain, snow, dark.  Not so fun.

Later her sister Mary decided it was time for an outhouse, so she set about making one.    Then they had a 2 holer but still had to walk to it though once using it, there was protection from the rain and snow though not the dark or cold.  And if it was raining or blowing, the candle wouldn’t go out so easily.  Their mother used that her entire life to 1973, though she did get the convenience of an indoor bathroom and toilet by 1964. The outhouse became the overflow accommodations for extra people. I got to use that outhouse many times but I got to use toilet paper and not a catalog or something else rough.

Mom liked to have a fire in the stove, but was grateful for the cook stove being electric and of having electric heaters to be able to plug in and not having to cut firewood.

When I was young she had a commercial laundry business for the trucking companies.   She washed sheets and pillow cases for the sleepers and did shop rags for the garage using a double tub wringer washer and a clothes line.  An electric washer and dryer was like heaven to her.

Though she never learned how to drive a car and loved walking, she found it nice not to have to walk as in earlier days.  She lived from pioneer times in the more remote parts of Utah’s Dixie to the modern age.

So I guess you can now get an inkling of why she said that the “‘good old days’ weren’t all that good”.

“The ‘good old days’ are now”,  she’d say.

What do you say?

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