Wet Clothes In Winter Smelled

Kids dried clothing beside coal heater in one-room schoolhouse.

| Good Old Days


I was born on a Nebraska farm in 1907. That must have been before the word deodorant was in the dictionary.

I attended a one room country school where over forty people had to breathe the same air for eight hours.

In snowy wet weather our clothes would be wet by the time we walked to school. We would dry our wet clothes standing near the old coal heater. We didn't have enough clothes to change every day or have the facilities to take baths. Some of the older boys ran their trap line on the way to school, and sometimes caught a skunk or two.

Prying our lid off our syrup pail dinner bucket, we got another whiff of stale air from the food in that air tight container. I carried that old bucket for eight years.



Sometimes just to get a breath of fresh air we held up our hand with one finger extended, a nod from the teacher gave us permission to go to the outhouse. We didn't tarry long as the smell of the outhouse would almost peel the skin off the inside of your nose.

Summer time at home meant cow piles and old black chicken manure that got between your bare toes. Cleaning them, your fingers were involved.






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