Are you thankful?

When I was 3, we lived in a big, old two-story house. I remember little from living there but I’ve been told we had running water. That is, there was a well and a windmill in the yard. There was a stock tank in the attic. Windmill water was piped into the stock tank and through gravity flow, we had running water. How’s that for ingenuity? I am thankful to live in a house with not only running water, but a choice of hot and cold at my fingertips.

The next house we lived in when I was 4 and 5 years old, had a well and a pump, but did not have an indoor bathroom. The bathtub was a galvanized people-sized tub that was filled when needed. An outhouse served as our toilet and there was a firm dirt path that led to it. I remember one time when I was 4, I had to spend the day at a neighbor’s house. The neighbors had indoor plumbing; I wasn’t familiar with the dos and don’ts so I was putting gobs of toilet paper into the toilet. Lots of TP! The woman of the house spanked me for doing it. Now our house has two bathrooms. I am thankful to live in a house with indoor plumbing and a bathtub in one bathroom and a shower in the other.

At that same house we had an up-to-date electric wringer clothes washer. (My Gram had one that had a kerosene-run motor so it had to be used outside, due to fumes.) While I was “helping” Mom wring out clothes one time, I didn’t let go of the garment as I started it through the wringer. My arm went right in, up to the elbow. Fortunately, Mom was at the ready and she shut off the machine and turned the lever to release the rollers which spread them apart. My arm slid right out and there was no damage. It was a valuable lesson about working around any sort of machinery. Now I have an automatic washing machine with no wringer, instead the machine whirls fast to rid the clothing of excess water. I am thankful I have the modern convenience of the washer and dryer.

Until I was 12, we celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve at my Grandma Wyatt’s. I recall the camaraderie of Gram and her daughters-in-law as they washed dishes in Gram’s kitchen on Christmas Eve. When they were finished and the kitchen was put ‘back to rights,’ as Gram always said, we got to open our gifts. These days, I have three grands and one son here for lunch on days my daughter-in-law works in town and the kids don’t have school. This year their “break” started in March. By the time I cook for six people, and add my cooking vessels together, there are a lot of dishes to wash. I am thankful I have an automatic dishwasher for the ease of labor and the cleanliness of the dishes.

What are you thankful for today? ❖

Peggy Sanders