Leafing through a women's magazine I saw an article about The Good Old Days The author longing to return to 'way back then When life seemed to be fun and gay Housewives didn't have to work back then Since their husbands brought home the bacon Describing children as always well behaved That writer's more than slightly mistaken Born at the start of the twentieth century I was the youngest in a family of ten So I'm here to burst a few big bubbles And tell how it really was back then As the saying goes, Momma's work was never done No modern conveniences made her life easier Housework done by hand and food made from scratch Most women didn't enjoy lives of leisure A washerwoman came each Monday of the week To help with piles and piles of dirty clothes The older kids grated homemade lye soap And carried water from a pump, not a hose It took the two women all day to do the wash Hands rubbed raw from the old scrub board Wrinkled and sore from boiling water and lye Getting to iron them all was their reward One day, Poppa bought a new-fangled machine Back in the year of nineteen-o-seven Said it was a contraption for washing clothes To Momma, it seemed to be a gift from Heaven It was a big wooden tub with a crank on top And a wringer that would take out the water They all had to take turns cranking that thing I got to sit and watch, being the baby daughter In a house with no electricity or gas And hardly straying from the hot cook stove Momma did the same old chores day after day Life back then was no treasure trove Her body must have ached from the work she did But Momma never was a woman to complain We took our Saturday baths in an old wash tub And washed our hair with water caught in the rain Nostalgia is fine in its proper perspective But stories often lead to blatant deception Spending just one day doing the work Momma did Would soon debunk this common misconception I admit I'm a sucker for nostalgic movies Women dressed in beautiful frocks and petticoats Swooning over their men so dashing and debonair But today's technology always gets my votes Kathleen McCoy Eldridge© July 16, 2007 All Rights Reserved

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