Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Clorox Bottle

Spending the day on a tractor is thirsty work.  Plowing, harrowing, mowing, planting, discing, whatever; the sun is hot and the day is long.  The day is especially long if the driver is on the tractor from 12 - 16 hours per day.  

Daddy and my brothers either packed a lunch or Mother took it to them.  A great deal of her time was spent driving to the fields where they were working.  She would take them more diesel, tools, parts, food, or whatever they'd need that day.  Sometimes Daddy would be in a field in another county while one of my brothers would be 40 or more miles away.  Mother did a good bit of driving back and forth.

Daddy was glad for custom farming jobs.  A farmer would need tractor work and Daddy would take the job.  Whether it was plowing, planting, or spreading hay, it put food on the table.  After all, farming was not the most profitable business in the world.   

But no matter, Daddy always provided for us.  We always had good clothes and never went hungry.  As far as we girls went, Mother made most of our clothes when we were growing up.  The house had heat in the winter.  We worked and we had fun.  We always had a bicycle to ride.  Growing up in the country with a farm on a 'hard road', a bicycle was an essential. But bicycles are another story.  So is Mother's sewing expertise.

Donald and Stanley

Once plastic bottles and jugs became popular, our freezer always had a Clorox bottle or two in it.  Oh yes, I know, bleach bottles should never be reused for anything.  They should be disposed of properly.  But Mother would take off the label and wash them out extremely well before she filled them with water.  She would place them in the freezer until they became a solid block of ice inside.

When Daddy or one of the boys headed out for the day, they would take one frozen bottle with them.  Hooked within reach on the tractor, the ice melted just fast enough for the driver to have plenty of water to drink.  In the middle of the summer, if the water wasn't frozen it would become too hot to drink.

Mother always knew the short cuts to make things last longer and do a better job.  She was into recycling and reusing before the phrase was hardly invented!

(Not that I'm encouraging anyone to reuse bleach bottles in this way.  For us, though, it made perfect sense.)

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