The 11 degree temperature this morning reminded me of the small porch/ bedroom that I shared with my two brothers, George and Bob. We were living in the White House near Morton at the time. The porch had a leaning roof. There was no insulation in the walls. Needless to say, this was a very cold room on nights like we had last night.
Mother Bess had to entice her sons to go to bed with a bed warming technique. We had a large wood/coal stove in the living room. The living room substituted for a master bedroom for my parents. Mother Bess would warm some bricks on the top of this stove and wrap them with a towel. She would then take them to the lean-to bedroom and place the bricks at appropriate areas between the sheets. This took about 30 minutes to get the bed warm enough to allow her sons to venture out into the lean-to.
I was usually sandwiched in between Bob and George. We had tons of blankets on the bed and stayed reasonably warm in sub freezing temperatures. I do not recall being cold after I got under the covers. Did I ever wet the bed? I suspect that I did on occasions when I refused to get out of bed to use the “slop jar”.
We did not have to worry about the pipes freezing up. We had no pipes. Our piping system was a bucket out to the well and back. A bath took a 3 bucket trip. Drinking water was one bucket at a time.
As I was taking to Mary (92 going on 93 as of January 30) today she reminded me of the time she saved the day. It was morning time and I was searching for my one missing boot. Someone suggested to me that it might be under the couch. I got me a match to look under the couch with. A lit match I might inform you. Me and a lit match – a bad combination. Some of the strands under the couch got in the way of my match and promptly caught on fire.
Mary, conveniently was taking a bath in a number 3 tub behind a curtain and heard the commotion of everyone evacuating the house. She took her bath water and promptly saved the day by putting the smoldering fabric out.
Me, Leola, Bob and Janie were standing on the south side of the house out of harms way when Mary called us and said we could come back in.
Stay warm today, and don’t play with matches!