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  • November 18th, 2008 | 12:01 AM
Tuesday memory challenge (a little early)

Since LiveJournal will be down tomorrow and then most likely sporadic, I thought I'd post this week's memory challenge a little early. I took a break from yard work today and tackled the house. Which made me think of chores from my childhood.

When we lived with my grandmother chores were done on the same day every week. (so were meals). Ironing was always done on Mondays. I wasn't very good at ironing but I begged until I was finally allowed to iron my grandfather's handkerchiefs. He always used the same kinds, red bandannas. He had some pretty white ones but they stayed stuffed in his drawers.


The bandannas were 100% cotton which meant they were really wrinkled after they were washed. So they had to be sprinkled with water before I could iron them.  My grandmother had a 7 up bottle with a sprinkler cap top so I could sprinkle water on the handkerchiefs as I ironed.

Sometimes I got to rake leaves but not often. I think that's because I'd rather play in the leaves than leave them in piles.

After dinner I cleared the table and had to dry the dishes. (No dishwasher when I was growing up.) I wasn't allowed to wash them. My grandmother was sure that she was the only one who could get the dishes all the way clean.

When the washing machine dinged I had to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer. The one chore I had every Saturday  was to clean the bathrooms. As I got older I was allowed to dust, but that was about it.

Hmmm.....I guess I was a little bit spoiled.

Your turn. What kind of chores did you have as a kid.

There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 9 comments — Leave comment )
November 18th, 2008 04:21 am (UTC)
Pretty much every battle I had with my parents was about cleaning my room (I didn't) or doing my part of the gardening (I did, but with lots of whining). I figured (yes, arrogant teenage-hood) that it was my room, and I wasn't asking anybody to come into it, so I didn't have to clean it. And I didn't want the fruits and vegetables that came off the trees and out of the garden, so I shouldn't have to help grow them.

Honestly, I still don't think I was THAT wrong. :)
November 18th, 2008 04:28 am (UTC)
Ack - how could I have forgotten the battle of the bedrooom? I was always SUPPOSED to clean it but I never did. I would come home sometimes and my mom would have cleaned it for me and I would have a temper tantrum and throw stuff all over the room.
November 18th, 2008 11:05 am (UTC)
Location, location, location.

When I was at my parents' house, I had a few chores and I hated every single one of them: cleaning my room, dusting the lounge, and, every Friday and Saturday: going and cleaning the sanctuary of the church. This was vacuuming, dusting, polishing, cleaning those giant stained glass windows, and even polishing the brass on the pipe organ.

Then, if I was at my grandparents' house, I had these chores: Chicken feeding, dog care (feeding, watering, bathing -- mainly because they'd stand still and let me do it!), helping with morning barn chores (feeding cows/horses, stall mucking)... However, my grandmother and later my grandfather, firmly believed that I also had one special chore that had to be done, every single day: Reading.

My grandmother passed when I was 7, but my grandfather would send me out under the pine trees with the dogs and tell me I had to do my 'chore' before I could go running off. It's only now that I realise that he did it during the heat of the day, while he was puttering around the house, starting dinner, and picking up a bit. Kinda like a siesta, so that we didn't have to work so hard and get too warm.
November 23rd, 2008 05:20 am (UTC)
Yep, different rules a different houses. I forgot about that.

I love love love that reading was a chore. Your grandparents totally rock!
November 18th, 2008 11:59 pm (UTC)
one of my chores: shoveling the driveway
It was a boring job.

And snow was sometimes VERY heavy.

And of course, it was winter and it could be VERY cold.

I was so "theatrical." Being a great "Army-player", I could do "dead" so well.

Once or twice or maybe even three times, I could see my Mom in the kitchen window washing the dishes, I would suddenly fall down dead like the cold weather just shot through me like a bullet. Most often, it would be a three-part death, falling against the snow bank, rolling to the driveway and allowing myself to slide all sprawled out.

My mother never saw any of my performances. And didn't come to my rescue and relieve me from this chore.
November 23rd, 2008 05:22 am (UTC)
Re: one of my chores: shoveling the driveway
I love this memory! I can totally see you acting out there. Like so many of your memories, this seems like it is right out of a book.
November 21st, 2008 03:51 am (UTC)
Every Sunday I had to do the ironing for the whole family. I HATED it. To this day I refuse to iron anything. If it's wrinkled, I wet it down and throw it back in the drier or wear something else. Fortunately for my husband, his new job includes free dry cleaning so he doesn't have iron his shirts anymore!
November 23rd, 2008 05:23 am (UTC)
Yeah for free dry cleaning!

Did you have any chores you liked to do?
November 23rd, 2008 03:00 pm (UTC)
This will sound kinda weird, but every Sunday one of my chores was picking up dog poop in the back yard. I would put on my Walkman :) and I loved being outside so I didn't mind doing it at all.
( 9 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

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