Flashback Friday

Bath time memories in the 60s #FlashbackFriday

Good-morning, kittens & dawgs! It’s Friday with the weekend kicking off soon. A couple of Fridays ago, I share The last time I was in an outhouse. I got to thinking about how my parents and grandparents had to bathe in the 30s and 40s. They did not live in a city. Their upbringing was in very rural conditions or as some would say country-style living and ever since digging into my family genealogy starting last month flashbacks of things forgotten began surfacing into my fore-thoughts, like bath time memories.

In the days of my parents and grandparents, they carried water from a spring or well for drinking, bathing, and laundry.  Baths consisted of sponging off or washing in a large metal tub. For some it would’ve been better than this and others it would’ve been worse. Regardless, these conditions would be horrible for anyone of us to try to live in now.

57 taking a bath 2 (2)This brings me to my flashback memory for today. Things weren’t too much different from the time of my parents to when I was little. Sure there were some improvements, but baths were not one of them.

I remember when I was a tot my mom bathed me in a wash pan in the kitchen and so, I have an interesting story to share this morning. Perhaps, I told it before so bear with me and for those who haven’t heard it, then I hope you enjoy the tale.

In my early childhood years, my parents’ home did not have indoor plumbing. No running water, no bathtub, no commode, … It was winter. I was very young…too young to remember how right the details are to my story, but all I have is the interruptions left in my mind of that day.

Like I said I was really young…maybe less 2-years old or younger. It was winter and it was very cold. The ground laid beneath a deep blanket of snow. The kind of snow you dream about only when you’re little and hope for at Christmas.

mother-washing-feet-and-cleaning-up-daughters-in-sharecroppers-shack-southeast-missouri-farmse2808fMom had me in a small pan, similar to the one in the above picture, of water on top a counter or inside a sink…maybe they did have running water, but there was definitely no toilet or bath tub. Maybe, the pipes were frozen. I don’t know. Anywho, I remember sitting in a steamy water looking out the kitchen window wondering, where my mommy got the water. With horrified eyes, I saw my snowman, the one my aunt Mary Lou and her friend built for me, was missing… its head! Instantly, it clicked, Mommy took off my snowman’s head to make my bath water. That wide-eyed feeling and disappointment stunned me for a second, but like I said it was a short-lived and thankfully didn’t scare me for life. lol I kinda look back on those simpler times with a sweet fondness now and have to smile.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy folks later moved into a house with running water and bath room with an old claw and ball porcelain tub, like this one to the left, which I loved! I was 6 or 7 at the time and I would take a bath with my baby brother and we pretended it was a swimming pool. To us, it felt so deep and big. We had lots of fun playing in the bath water. When I was a teen, I found it a great place to soak and relax.  It’s amazing I didn’t drown because I fell asleep reclined in that tub countless times. I suppose angels were watching over me.

55 taking a bath I remember staying with my grandparents when I was older and had to learn over a tub to wash my hair like this man is doing. Again, in the winter. I know my grandparents had indoor plumbing, but I reckon in those days pipes froze up and they had to either use well water or rain water. I know my grandparents used a large barrel collect the rain as it fell off house. That was a common thing for folks living in rural areas of that time.

Living in modern times, we usually don’t have to worry so much about water shut offs, but pipes breaking is a nightmare none of us hope to experience. To think of living in a time where you had to fetch a bucket of water for drinking or bathing is something I am glad we don’t have to do today.

Would you like to live like that?

Did you grow up having to carry water into the home for these basic necessities?

Thanks for sharing in my memories with Flashback Friday.  I hope you’ll stop by for tomorrow to listen to my weekend tunes on Saturday Songsuasaion!

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I born and raised in the Appalachian mountains of southern WV. I was a child bride when I married my high school sweetheart in 1979. We moved to Knoxville, TN to begin our life. Determined to prove nay-Sayers from our community wrong, I completed my education and went on to earn an A.S. in computer programming. From 1983-1987, I worked as a computer system’s manager. That’s a glorified title for someone who trouble shoots and maintains system back-ups. After the birth of our first child in 1988, I took early retirement. What have I been doing for the last 25+ years? I am proud to say, I am a SAHM and for most of those years I home-schooled our three children from K-12. Now, the nest is empty.


  • Rorybore

    my mother didn’t have indoor plumbing in the big farm house for awhile growing up, but by the time she left home, they had an addition with a bathroom. By the time I came along, there was also an upstairs bathroom with one of those old tubs (LOVE them, wish I had one!). But I can remember still the pump at the back of the house and because so many people would be in the house at any given time: you didn’t always get the “modern” tub. Sometimes, you got the old wash tub by the woodstove and had to fill it from the pump and heat the water on the woodstove. We thought this was pretty cool some nights. because you know, kids and baths is sometimes a struggle.
    other than that, I camp a lot so I definitely know what it’s like to not have indoor plumbing and swimming in the lake is considered your daily bath! 🙂

  • Arlee Bird

    Never had to carry water or anything like that. I wouldn’t want to do that either. Most of us have life so easy and I’m glad that I do. Though I would have never dreamed years ago that people would be buying drinking water and fountains would essentially become defunct.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Lee, I know what you mean. Bottled water?! That’s crazy, isn’t it? We have a filter on our city tap water. It’s quite drinkable and perhaps some of the best city water I’ve had, but still the filter makes it fresher tasting. So, for the small cost it takes to replace the ceramic filter annually is worth it and it’s far less expensive than buying it. Thanks for stopping by!

  • XmasDolly

    We finally made it together! WOO HOO I think I want to make a new Flashback picture something similar to yours you know like the same frame so people know it’s you and me… Buds flashing together HHAHAHAHAHAHA Where did you get your frame? Is that you in the picture? I love your Post and I want to try and remember this Saturday to play along with your Saturday Songsuasaion! Whew! That’s a tuff word for me! hehehe So would I liked to live that way… oh I could stand it I suppose.. it’s all work from sun up to sun down. Only thing I wouldn’t like is BUGS! That’s probably why I would work from sun up to sun down to keep everything clean including the chillin’s lol HUGS AND I’m glad we finally got together! woo hoo! ooooo maybe I’ll try this Code Generator of yours… hmmmm

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Marie, yes this is me when I was a little more than a year old, maybe 18-months old. The frame I used is one in PhotoShop. If you would like for me to do your picture using this frame, then send it to me via email along with what you’d like for the text to read, and I’ll send it back to you. Oh yeah, the code generator works great. I’ve used it many times when a WW featured photographer doesn’t have a blog button, but here lately I’ve skipped using buttons altogether and simply put them in the #1 spot on my linky. That works really well. Yes, do come by tomorrow for Saturday Songsuasaion (BTW, I made that word up), I don’t do a linky or anything. For now, it’s all about my readers enjoyment. If I ever see the need to turn it into a play along thing, then I’ll add a linky. Oh well…I’m feeling very happy today. DH got a reprieve with his job (today was to be his last day). It got extended until the end of March. What an answer to prayer! God is truly amazing!!! Thanks for stopping by, my friend!

💕I love comments! Have a purrfect day & thanks for stopping by!💕