Household Chores

| 5/6/2015 3:10:00 PM

Country at HeartWhen I was growing up, everybody – and I do mean everybody – worked at some kind of job ... that is every able-bodied man, woman, girl and boy. If we had a well body and a sound mind, and we weren't too old or ill, we worked.

For the most part, though, any member of the family who was big enough to stand up (without having to lean on a walking cane) usually had something to do. From an early age, parents taught their little ones how to pick up their socks and shoes, or how to iron and how to hang their clothes up.

I knew some children who never went to the field to work as we did, but that doesn't mean they didn't work, because they did. And of course, depending on what had to be done at home or around the house, some youngsters worked more than others. Obviously, there are some chores that the very young can't possibly do, but according to each one's age and ability, they had to do something.

For instance, when we were old enough, we had to at least bring in firewood even if we didn't have to help chop it. Usually, parents didn't let young children chop wood, because it is too dangerous. Only those people who know how to handle an axe cut wood. Otherwise, if you don't know what you're doing, you could end up cutting off a few toes or a foot or at least slicing it open.

I was never bothered much about housework. It's like this. It has to be done, and the good thing is that there's not always a timeline like when you're working in the fields. The dishes can wait until later or even the next day, but when you're on outside jobs, they have to be done then and there and usually the same day.

It's probably fair to say that country children work more than those in the city, because there's just more to be done. This was especially true in the 1950s and '60s. Some of us had to tote water, cut the lawn, rake leaves, wash dishes, wash clothes by hand or with a rub-board, iron, sweep the house and porch and just keep the living place half-way presentable.

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