It's 95 here- I think of my Grandpa- he didn't have electricity, running water, etc.

This is a discussion on It's 95 here- I think of my Grandpa- he didn't have electricity, running water, etc. within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; My Grandfather lived on a farm out in Union County, TN on the edge of Big Ridge State Park. On days this hot, he plowed ...

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Thread: It's 95 here- I think of my Grandpa- he didn't have electricity, running water, etc.

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    It's 95 here- I think of my Grandpa- he didn't have electricity, running water, etc.

    My Grandfather lived on a farm out in Union County, TN on the edge of Big Ridge State Park.

    On days this hot, he plowed in the hot sun behind a team of mules. I don't know how he did it.

    When he got back to his house, he didn't have air conditioning, running water, or even an electric fan to sit in front of. He probably sat on the front porch hoping a cloud would shade the sun off the roof of his porch or that a breeze would come by. I guess after a 'spell' he'd go back to the field and work in the sun some more.

    I don't know how he slept in the summer time - it had do be hot and muggy most of the night. They didn't even have a fan. I don't remember if he had screens on his windows, but I know he had some cracks in the floor.

    His house sat up off the ground on pillars of stone. The ones on the lower side of the lot were probably 5 feet high, the ones on the upper side were flat stones maybe 6 inches tall. That meant in the winter time, that cold air would completely envelop the house - over, under - all around.

    They had a fireplace in the small living room and another one in the adjacent bedroom. They used the same chimney. Fireplaces, at least like they had, don't heat very effectively. I don't know how they did it.

    In the kitchen, there was a wood burning stove - if they wanted to heat anything, you had to fire up the stove. Grandma cooked and heated the meals on that stove. I'm sure in the winter time the warmth from it was welcome. On 95 days like today, it probably wasn't so welcomed.

    I wonder how/where they took a bath in the winter time? There was no bathroom. I presume they drug the ol wash tub out on the back porch or somewhere, fired up the stove and heated water. Don't know how they proceeded from there. There was Grandpa, Grandma, four sisters and a brother.

    They had a sink with a hand well pump as the only source of running water. Their refrigerator where they kept the milk they milked from their cows and strained through some kind of cloth was a creek about 75 yards from the house. So at meal time, one of the kids would 'fetch' the milk and return it to the 'refrigerator' after the meal. I don't know how they did it.

    The restroom was an outhouse; I used it as a kid many-a-time. They didn't have rolls of nice soft toilet paper either. Sears catalogs and corn cobs took care of the paper work. I wonder what that would be like when it's below freezing outside? They had no heat in it whatsoever.

    He had a big barn and at certain times of the year, it had lots of bails of hay in it - just right for us four boy grandchildren to play in. Ever make a bailed-hay fort?

    They had cows, mules, hogs, and hens - everybody had an important role. The cows provided milk, meat, and income to a small degree if he could sell one. The mules plowed the fields and gardens, the hogs did a lot of clean up duty - ever 'slop' a hog? And hogs also provided meat and probably some income too. The hens yielded eggs and meat too. Ever rung or seen a chicken's neck rung? Ever had to pluck a chicken? I don't know how they did it all. The hams and such were salt or sugar cured and kept in a smokehouse. It wasn't refrigerated, well, unless it was wintertime.

    By the time I was nearing my teen years, modernization was coming to the country. They finally got electricity. They eventually got running water and installed a toilet the only place they had room for it - in a large closet. You had to fight the clothes to get to it - which I did many-a-time.

    My folks talked country. They built 'fars' in the fireplace and used warplars to cut and bend wire. I was probably 16 or 17 years old before I realized "warplars" was two words - wire pliers. Sometimes they would go places, they'd go ovrthar and they apparently had a lot of druthers, but I never actually saw any.

    Grandpa and Grandma were special people to me. You had to watch Grandma though, when you arrived you knew you were going to get a spine dislodging hug - I loved it but it wasn't necessarily a pleasant thing. I guess all that hugging strength came from love AND all that wood she chopped and carried.

    My Grandparents have long since passed out of this life, but how can I ever forget them. They did so much, endured so much, raised their children and loved their grandchildren. Why couldn't I have realized all this while they were alive? I guess kids can't really realize these things. I wish I could tell them I know now - I owe them a lot.

    Sometimes they just come to mind, especially on really hot and really cold days. I'm a real sissy.

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    Senior Member Array Inspector71's Avatar
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    You mean warplars are two words?! Well hail farr
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    Back then weather wasn't as hot as it is today. You could sleep with windows open and feel cool. Look up heat records for the last 50 yrs and see for yourself
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inspector71 View Post
    You mean warplars are two words?! Well hail farr
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    104*F here today, what are you complaining about. Worked many times when it was 110*F outside, and those where it was 120*F inside the building we were doing some rearrangement of tools, etc.
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    And people think they have a rough life now days and the government owes them a living. My, how times have changed. And, not for the better sometimes.
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    Hard to complain about how hard life is, isnt it. Thanks for putting it into perspective.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    My Grandfather lived on a farm out in Union County, TN on the edge of Big Ridge State Park.

    In the kitchen, there was a wood burning stove - if they wanted to heat anything, you had to fire up the stove. Grandma cooked and heated the meals on that stove. I'm sure in the winter time the warmth from it was welcome. On 95 days like today, it probably wasn't so welcomed.

    I wonder how/where they took a bath in the winter time? There was no bathroom. I presume they drug the ol wash tub out on the back porch or somewhere, fired up the stove and heated water. Don't know how they proceeded from there. There was Grandpa, Grandma, four sisters and a brother.

    The restroom was an outhouse; I used it as a kid many-a-time. They didn't have rolls of nice soft toilet paper either. Sears catalogs and corn cobs took care of the paper work. I wonder what that would be like when it's below freezing outside? They had no heat in it whatsoever.

    They had cows, mules, hogs, and hens - everybody had an important role. The cows provided milk, meat, and income to a small degree if he could sell one. The mules plowed the fields and gardens, the hogs did a lot of clean up duty - ever 'slop' a hog? And hogs also provided meat and probably some income too. The hens yielded eggs and meat too. Ever rung or seen a chicken's neck rung? Ever had to pluck a chicken? I don't know how they did it all. The hams and such were salt or sugar cured and kept in a smokehouse. It wasn't refrigerated, well, unless it was wintertime.

    Grandpa and Grandma were special people to me. You had to watch Grandma though, when you arrived you knew you were going to get a spine dislodging hug - I loved it but it wasn't necessarily a pleasant thing. I guess all that hugging strength came from love AND all that wood she chopped and carried.

    My Grandparents have long since passed out of this life, but how can I ever forget them. They did so much, endured so much, raised their children and loved their grandchildren. Why couldn't I have realized all this while they were alive? I guess kids can't really realize these things. I wish I could tell them I know now - I owe them a lot.

    Sometimes they just come to mind, especially on really hot and really cold days. I'm a real sissy.

    Tangle
    Thanks for posting, brings back many fond memories.

    My grandparents did have electricity thanks to TVA. But my grandmother cooked on a wood-burning stove until the 1960s when the gas company ran a line through the property and gave them a stove and free gas for life.

    The outhouse, in the winter you wanted to be the second one to use it, in the summer it tended to get a bit ripe and you had to watch out for the wasps.

    Always had fresh squeezed milk morning and evening and it was a short trip to the yard for fresh eggs. Usually killed two hogs in the fall, they lasted until next fall after being cured. When a hen stopped laying there was chicken and dumplings for supper.

    Could not get away fast enough when I was a teenager now I would love to go back.
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    Tangle, good stuff.

    One the things behind the "how did they do it?" is that there was no air conditioning to be had back then, except maybe in the cities, and few other amenities that we take for granted - so the expectations were limited. That was how life was - you did what you had to do, you worked around the environment you lived in, and just dealt with it.

    I grew up in a rural area that was barely entering the 20th century back in the 50's, and my childhood home was built by Dutch settlers around 1750. As a result of that environment I've always had a fondness and an appreciation for American history and the simplicity of earlier times. We've got nuclear power and space missions mapping out the beginning of the universe and wireless communication (and I don't mean yelling over to yonder hill!) at the speed of light, but I don't think the humanity (or the humility) of our species is appreciably better for all of the technology.
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    Yep, I remember the days without air conditioning as a kid and two solid weeks when the temperatures reached 105 degrees everyday.

    Fortunately we had one big window fan that allowed a cool breeze to enter the bedrooms at night with the window cracked open. The best sleeping was just right before you had to get up for school.
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    Don't you mean wender?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    My Grandfather lived on a farm out in Union County, TN on the edge of Big Ridge State Park.

    On days this hot, he plowed in the hot sun behind a team of mules. I don't know how he did it.

    .

    My Grandparents have long since passed out of this life, but how can I ever forget them. They did so much, endured so much, raised their children and loved their grandchildren. Why couldn't I have realized all this while they were alive? I guess kids can't really realize these things. I wish I could tell them I know now - I owe them a lot.

    Sometimes they just come to mind, especially on really hot and really cold days. I'm a real sissy.

    Tangle

    ^^^^^^^^Because you were yoo young to read between the lines.^^^^^^^^^^^^^



    You were too busy being a kid of the 50's 60's or 70's
    The backbreaking work they did for their family, the small presents here and there, the hugs, the rides on a tractor,or horses, or time spent fishing in a creek or a lake if you were lucky. Times spent at hunting camp with grandpa and your uncles, or Sunday chicken after church. It was all how they, and your parents said they loved you back then.
    Now, a lot of kids look at their parents funny, and with discust if they don't "buy" them a car for their 16th B-Day.

    Sad and pathetic..

    !!!!!!!! GREAT POST Tangle !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    Thank you.
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    Great post! No matter how bad we think we have it today, it's a cake walk compared to years gone by.
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    I do understand. My mom was one of 14 up a holler in WV and I could feel those words. I remember bout the same
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