Sherry Hopkins Column

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 29, 2007

Usual Friday cleaning washes up memories

Friday is cleaning day for me. As I clean my thoughts wander back to the late 1950s.

My Mamma cleaned on Fridays too, and it was an all day task. She shooed us outside early and began her ritual of scrubbing and cleaning. She did the floors last. It took hours to sweep, dust mop, wet mop and then wax.

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Before she began to clean the floors she would bring my sister and me back in to wash our hair and bathe us. She then put our hair up in pin curls and wrapped our heads in whatever was available, knee socks, scarves etc.

She sat us on the porch clean and dressed in our little cotton tops, pedal pushers and saddle oxfords to await the arrival of my Daddy from work. She would finish the multitude of tasks that awaited her, then bathe and wash her own hair, setting it with the same pin curls and bobby pins.

When my Daddy made it home we would pile in the car and head to Kroger to grocery shop. Daddy would stay in the car and read the evening edition of the daily newspaper. Mamma would leave sister and me at the bookstand to read the “funny books” while she shopped. Top shelf of the bookstand was reserved for adult reading like True Crime and Confidential, the middle shelf for Field & Stream and Ladies Home Journal and the bottom shelf, which was low enough to sit on, was for kids.

Archie comics were our favorite along with Little Lulu and Casper the Friendly Ghost.  We could have stayed there for hours safe and undisturbed, but soon the grocery cart would be full of another week’s bounty and we would head back to the car and home.

As we left the parking lot Mamma would disperse the Top Value trading stamps she received. Sister and I would lick them and put them in the book. As the books began to fill over the weeks and months we could hardly wait to redeem them at the stamp store. Mamma let us help her pick out what she wanted, being careful not to give us too many choices. Funny, I can’t remember a single thing that we ever got. Saving the stamps seemed more fun than trading them in I guess. Besides the gifts were never anything but household items, nothing two little girls would want or like.

I can only imagine what we all must have looked like with our tightly pinned heads all tied up! Those pins stayed in until Sunday morning when Mamma would brush us out in time for Sunday school and church. Daddy would drop us off and pick us up because Mamma didn’t drive and Daddy didn’t go to church. Sometimes after church we would go to McDonald’s and get hamburgers and Cokes for lunch and eat in the car while parked out front. Fast food was new. Though rare, it was always exciting to get to go.

The days then seemed slower and easier. We have, with the help of technology, made things so easy anymore that we should have even more time to spend with our families. But instead we are tied to phones on our hip and computers in our laps and a myriad of technical stuff designed to “help us out.”

Oh, for the simple days of one black and white TV, one clunky old telephone and one stick shift in the driveway.  Mondays were wash day, Fridays were for cleaning and Sunday was for Church, Grandma’s and fried chicken, (not the Kentucky kind.)

You get the picture?

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