The room across the back of the house was designated as the kitchen. It held two cook stoves, a set of shelves which would later become a bookself because we did have 3 or 4 books and they were on that shelf. The galvanized tubs were kept hanging from nails in this room, so it was also the laundry room. One was a "wash boiler" because it was oblong and about a foot across and two feet long and 2 feet high. If it happened to be raining on "wash" day, the water would be heated inside because we could not build a fire under the 3 legged kettle and wash day was wash day come hell or high water. Days meant something back then! I sell tea towels on ebay and they have the days with the little Sunbonnet Sue or the doggie doing things they do on the designated days. Monday was "Wash Day", Tuesday "Iron", Wednesday "Sew", Thursday "Shop", Friday "Bake", Saturday "Clean" and Sunday was always "Church". So if it rained and it was Monday, we would be heating wash water in the house.
There were also 2 more galvanized tubs that hung there. They were the "rinse tubs". When bath night came, which was always on a Saturday night without fail, the cleanest of the two tubs would be filled with warm water and we each got a turn in the tub. First came the little kids and then the last was Dad. Some times if the water got to thick, more water was added. That was nice! When we were all clean (and I use that word with the untmost sarcasm!) the tub was carried out the back door and dumped unceremoniously in the garden area. Great fertilizer!
Along with the bathing ritual for our hygiene, there was also the need for rest room "facilities" and trust me, those were very primitive! Out the back door and down the path stood the "outhouse". And that, friends, is exactly what it was and what all the neighbors called it and everyone in town had one. Course there were people in the city proper who had the inside things, but out on the outskirts where we lived it was a way of life. It was a wooden building with a wooden bench built in and secured to the walls. A hole was cut and that was it. A Sears catalog was the paper used to "clean yourself " when you were done "doing your business". I hope you are getting a clear picture of where the black widow spiders came into this tale, because I have no intention of going into more detail than this. Suffice it to say, I was terrified every time I went in there and I always carried a stick which I used to hit the hole with to scare the spiders away. Apparently it worked because my vulnerable back side was never attacked. I also lived in mortal terror that I would step inside and the floor would collapse and I would fall to a very nasty death. I think this is the one aspect of pioneer life that I least enjoyed. Never, ever did I even once wish I could go back to that nasty place!
Right out the back door was the area known as the "back porch" which I never understood why it was called that, but I guess it had a roof and screens to keep out flies. Step out the door of the kitchen and on the left is where wood was piled. On the right was the cellar. The cellar was by definition the one place I did not ever want to go. Never, ever, in my entire life did I actually enter the underground room. I did make it part way down the dirt steps and looked at the room. This cellar was dug down about 6 feet below ground level. A roof of some sort was over the top and several feet of dirt mounded up over that. I am sure that this would have stood an atomic bomb attack, but I was just not fond enough of living to go clear down the steps and enter that spider infested room. Mother insisted on storing her pickles, canned goods, potatoes, yams, onions and such down there. She would on occasion tell me to go down and bring up such and such. If I could not get one of the other kids to do it, I went and hid until I was sure it was done. I am scared shitless of spiders to this day and never have I ever thought a spider was my friend. I am terrified of little spiders and the level of fear increased with the size of the spider. Terror is the word we are looking for here. Petrified comes to mind. You get the picture?
Out of time again, but I will be back soon to share more with you of our new home. Until then....