HIS­TORY or Her Story (PART 3)

Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine - - Community News -

“Mum and Dad were proud of the house Dad built at Lid­combe and though it was sparsely fur­nished with few floor cov­er­ings, Mum kept it spot­less and the hall and bed­rooms were stained brown. This was kept clean and shin­ing by the use of a kerosene duster. A mop was soaked in kerosene and al­lowed to dry right out and rubbed over the floors. When soiled, it was washed in hot water from the cop­per af­ter the clothes were boiled and then treated again with kerosene. The kitchen floor was left un­stained and by the time Mum and Dad could af­ford linoleum, the floor had been scrubbed so much it was hairy, but the tim­ber was snow white. The kitchen, bath­room and ve­ran­dah etc were scrubbed with sand soap and again hot wash­ing water from the cop­per, a ‘down on the knees’ job, hand scrubbed.

The gas stove was pulled apart and all parts boiled in the cop­per to free them of cook­ing grease. Mum didn’t like the gas stove and was happy when Dad put in a fuel stove, the wood was chopped each night, ready to light up each day. The stove was cleaned reg­u­larly with a cake of sooty black sub­stance called Stove Black, it was rubbed over a warm stove and pol­ished.

All wash­ing (ex­cept wool­lens) was soaked overnight in wash­ing soda, hand scrubbed and boiled in the cop­per with soda and flaked soap, hand rinsed, dipped in blue rinse and hand wrung. Af­ter they were hung out and dried, they were damp­ened down to iron, with most cot­ton ar­ti­cles be­ing lightly starched. With six chil­dren to wash for, it was no won­der Mum soaked her aching feet in hot water each night to ease them.

Mum and her friends of­ten found time to chat, play with and en­ter­tain the chil­dren, keep their hus­bands happy and were not al­ways at the doc­tors. Home reme­dies were tried first. An in­fected sore was ban­daged with a soap and sugar poul­tice to draw out the pus. Sore throats were wrapped in a small towel wrung out of cold water, then loosely cov­ered with a woollen scarf and a good night’s sleep usu­ally cure the sore throat. A dish of hot water with a few drops of Eu­ca­lyp­tus oil added, a towel draped over the head and the steam in­haled, fol­lowed by a hot le­mon drink and a snug bed did won­ders for a head cold.” ŋ ŔŔŔ ŋ

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