If it weren't for the stiffness and aching joints of old age, I'd still be taking baths. Although I'll admit, now that I'm used to showers, I like how fast they are, and how much less water I use. We have a well with plenty of water, but the old pump isn't going to last forever, so any wear and tear we can avoid is a good thing.
You can see the galvanized tub in the lower right-hand corner of this picture of my kids playing in my washing machine. Yes, I did use a wringer washer in 1970. I didn't have to carry the water from outside, though, like my mom did.
When I was a child we didn't have a bathtub. My parents and I took sponge baths all week long, and then on Saturday nights Mother would put the galvanized laundry tub in the kitchen, heat water in the teakettle until there was enough to warm the cold water she'd put in there (carried in from the pump outside, in buckets), and we had our Saturday night baths.
We all three used the same water: I got to use it first, while it was clean and fresh; Mother was second, and Daddy was last. If I was really filthy, Mother scrubbed me off with a washcloth before I got in the tub. My knees were always dirty, thanks to the fact that I only wore dresses and I crawled and climbed around a lot (tomboy that I was); Sometimes mother would put Ajax scouring powder on the washcloth to use on my knees, and by the time she was done, my knees were red from the scrubbing and I was hollering "ouch".
By the time we moved to the city, I was twelve years old and getting pretty big to sit down in a round tub. I'd sit cross-legged in the tub to get wet, stand up and soap up, and sit back down to rinse off, if I remember correctly.
I loved my yearly visit at my sister's house in Gladstone, because I could take real baths in a real tub. I just couldn't get enough!
Our first couple of houses in Kansas City didn't have showers or tubs, but when my parents bought their first house in Harlem, we finally had a bathtub. I'd soak in the tub until I was wrinkled as a prune, with the bubbles from bubble bath purchased from Stanley Home Products piled high around me. I felt as though I was in the lap of luxury.
And now I only take showers, remembering the good old days of tub baths.
Thanks for joining me on another trip down memory lane.