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Give me rhubarb…

I have a thing about rhubarb pie.

It’s deep-seeded, to be sure, since I haven’t had a bite of that particular pastry since I was a child. My paternal grandmother made them. She died when I was ten. [1]

So when the LitForum‘s Writer’s Exercise [2] for March was to “write a scene in which the emphasis is on the consumption of food. Make use of the senses of taste and smell. Complement those senses by also drawing on sight, feel and mood. The MC [3] in this scene has stopped whatever he/she has been doing before and is pausing for a moment,” I knew immediately mine would be about rhubarb pie. 

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Hot & Sticky

It’s been a long time since I’ve tried to sleep without air conditioning. Why is it that the A/C has to wait until mid-July to conk out? Couldn’t it have done this in April???

But, as I notice the little runnels of sweat forming on the back of my neck, I can commiserate with Rose. Summer is a hot and sticky time of year. Sometimes, we of the A/C generation forget that.

Not that I’ve always had air conditioning. No, you young whippersnappers;

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The Dirty Work of Illumination

We take lighting for granted.

The sun goes down; we flip a switch. Instant illumination. Sure, sometimes the power goes off and we have to “rough it.” Candles or hurricane lamps for a few hours, a couple of days, sometimes longer if you live on the Gulf Coast and it’s hurricane season (there’s a reason they’re called hurricane lamps).

And while urban America was almost completely electrified (eek! that sounds painful) by 1929, it would be well into the mid-30s, and even the early 40s, before electric power found its way to the farms.

So poor Rose

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Washing Day

 

This morning I started a load of laundry, then came upstairs to work on this blog post. In a minute, I’ll go downstairs, move the load to the dryer, then enjoy thirty minutes of reading while I wait for the clothes to dry. Another fifteen minutes to fold and Voila! Laundry Complete.

Can I tell you… Rose is more than a little jealous of me. Not only does her wash day routine take longer than two hours, every bit of which is spent on her feet, there’s not a blasted book in sight anywhere.

No, if ever there was a chore designed to make a poor farm wife wish she’d never left her posh upper-middle class life, laundry is it!

And no wonder. Just look at all the steps involved, Continue reading

On Death

Pardon me while I get maudlin…

Yesterday, I read this in the 1930 diary I have: Had 16 little piglets today, but the old mother laid on 4 and killed them.

This made me sad. Especially if you’ve seen the cute piglet pictures I posted here. But it also got me thinking about how common death is, especially on a farm. And especially in the 1930s.

Well, it’s not a giant leap from cute piggies dying to human mortality… Continue reading