The wash water was always one degree below boiling when the wash was started. After the whites came out, the light clothes were put in and that was followed by towels and such which was followed by darks. The last load of clothes were dad's overalls. If there was any water left at that point we could throw in blankets or rugs.
As each load came through and ended up in the basket, it was taken out to the clothesline and hung to dry. There were more rules to the hanging of the clothes then even I can recall. Underwear were to be hung by the waistband with the crotch facing any direction except the road as a pervert might see them and loose control! If the said underwear had a hole, the item must be folded so the neighbors could not see it and know we were poor. Shirts, blouses and overalls were hung by the bottom. Dish towels were never hung by clothes. Baby clothes were washed and hung very first as babies were delicate.
When the washing was all done, the drain hose was called into action and buckets of dirty water were then lugged to the back yard and dumped in an area that was designated as "the water dumping area." This is when the Muscovy Ducks were in high heaven. I do not know if you have ever seen a Muscovy Duck, but they are nasty. They are usually white and black with a green sheen to the black. The males are huge with a neck as big as my arm and the females are very small. I seen them breeding one time which was enough for me. That was nasty and I am not sure my perception of the Muscovy is not influenced by that experience.
Any way, they would get in the muddy water and root around with thier beaks, seeking God only knows what and that made them very dirty and seemed to make them very horny. As I side note here, they are the only domesticated duck that (to my knowledge) can fly. They also chatter to each other. I hated wash day for that very reason.
Our kitchen had a "pitcher pump" and a sink for the washing of dishes and such. The drain consisted of a pipe out the bottom that made a hard right angle and disappeared through the wall and drained into the back yard. You guessed it! Another hang out place for those damned Muscovy Ducks!
Ah, but my solice lay in the front yard. In the front of the house by the road that ran by stood 2 tall Catalpa trees. I have noticed in later years it is fashionable to top them short and they then have a ball on top. Ours were "ala naturale". They were both the same height and appeared to be twins, but they were vastly different. The one on the left had lots and lots of little limbs and it was impossible to climb.
But the one on the right was my friend. It had only smooth branches. I would get a bucket and stand on it making it possible to reach the first branch. I would grab it and hoist myself up, throw my right leg over the limb and survey my kingdom below. From the bottom branch I would grab the next branch on the left side of the tree and work my way up the left side of the tree. When I reached "my place" I would set on a branch (always the same branch) and be alone in my head. At this point I was probably 25 - 30 feet off the ground. I could see down Strong Street and up Strong Street and I could while away the hours dreaming of things and places I would someday see. I lived a very happy life in my head. Had I but known where my life would lead me I would have never come down from that tree.
Momma cleaned houses for the ladies in town and most of the time she walked to and from her jobs. I always looked towards town and when I seen momma coming I would jump down and run to meet her. I do not know what we talked about or even if we did, but I loved my momma and for just a few minutes she was mine alone. Of course when we reached the house I had to go get the little kids from Ory Ayers's house and momma was no longer mine alone, because those little brats were so needy!
I can close the door on that part of my life, but I can not make it stay shut. I have heard it said that as we age we revert to our youth. I do know people with Dementia and Alzheimer's lose short term memory first and I am thinking, maybe that is a good thing. My childhood will always be my salvation. It will always be the one place that I feel safe and when I die I hope I go back to Nickerson and Strong Street with my brother, sisters, and momma.
Yep. That would be heaven!