Thursday, April 07, 2011

From tubs to showers

Funny, I get some of my best memories when I'm taking a shower.  This morning when I was in there, it occurred to me that I've only been taking showers for perhaps ten years; before that, I filled the tub and took baths.
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.    


  1. Well, POOH! I wrote you an "overlong" comment but it refused to publish. Basic thought -- thanks for the memories.

  2. I still love my bubble bath. A good long soak in the tub takes away a lot of aches and pains. But then you have your hot tub for that. I do have a shower too and really like to use it more in the summertime. I hope your Thursday is a great one!

  3. I used to love taking a long hot bath. Then I finished growing and discovered that bathtubs aren't made for people six feet tall anymore. Either your shoulders or your knees always stick out and get cold. Some day I want a bathtub big enough to get into all the way to my chin. And I'm not coming out til I turn into a prune!

  4. Lucky you that you got to be first in the old galvinized tub. lol I love my hot bubble bath when I'm not in a hurry but then I don't have a nice hot tub like you do.

  5. I mostly grew up like you did. No bathtubs in my younger days. I had much rather have a shower due to this back, last time I sat down it took forever to get down then I had to roll myself sideways to pull myself up by the handicapped rails so no more tub baths for me. I used to have a wringer washer like that. I think it was a Maytag. Helen

  6. By the way I got my long hair in those wringers a couple of times. Pulled out a chunk of hair. Helen

  7. BATHTUBS ALL THE WAY!! After a long, stressful day, there's nothing more relaxing than to just doze off in the bathtub. All you need to make it heaven is someone feeding you grapes and giving you a massage.

  8. I prefer baths over showers but my knees won't let me take them anymore. LOVE that wringer washer. My mother used hers into the late 60's.

  9. I remember the wringer washer diapers wrapped around the wringer,If it does, an article of the wash may
    wrap several times around a roller before it is noticed; unwinding such a
    piece is often difficult, sometimes impossible without removing a roller .
    Its you're already happened?

  10. Growing up, Donna, the Sisters carried the water and heated it. Well, except Helen...she lived a different life the the rest of us.

    I am happy to say...I only had to use the other type of washer...but I have memories of a l. mat. Yuck to that too. Sister Patsy used a wringer after she married. Patsy will be 73 in May. I will be 61 this year. Fleta is 63 and Helen is ONLY 56. Daddy worked out 'for wages' as we say after Helen was big enough to remember. Different life than we had.

    Love to see what you are doing, but am a little tired everyday. Next week is Benchmark week. IT is a big thing in Ark.


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