As a child Saturdays were a day that I both looked forward to and dreaded.
We used to start the day off by thoroughly cleaning the entire house. Mom would give dusting cloths to John and me and we would dust everything we could reach. Then we'd each be given a wet sponge and we'd help Mom wash the windows, what fun it was seeing who could make their sponge squeak the loudest against the window panes. After that Mom would let us sit in Daddy's recliner and look at picture books while she swept and mopped the floors. That used to be a real treat as it was the only day we were allowed to sit in Daddy's chair and the books also were saved for that event.
Once the floors were dry though the dreaded part came. It was time to do my hair. I had very long hair that was braided and put into a bun and once a week Mom would take it down, wash, and re-braid it so it would be fresh and neat for Sunday.
We had a tall bar stool that we referred to as the "braiding chair." Mom would set it in the kitchen and call me and I would hop up on it. She had a shoebox full of special little toys I could play with while she did my hair. She would undo my braids and start brushing my hair. I would try not to cry, but after a week without having had anything done to it there were always lots of snarls and hurt dreadfully.
She would sing funny little songs about a dancing colt and a little boy who was thankful for each article of clothing he was wearing. She'd tell stories about a sneezing horse, a ship lost at sea, and other stories I loved all of which were special and used only during hair time to try to keep my mind off of the pain, but it was never long before I was howling.
After the snarls were all out I would lay on the counter while Mom washed my hair and then I had to go through that dreadful brushing again and be braided. After she was done I would hop off the chair, put the box of toys away, and rejoice in the fact that it would be a whole week before I have to go through that again.
Now was when the real fun began. It was time to bake pie. John and I would each push a chair beside Mom and watch as she measured the flour and made the pie dough it was fun watching her roll it out and fit it carefully in the pan and then watch her fingers fairly fly around the edge leaving a trail of neat little braids , but the best part of all was when she was done with her pie and she would let me have the remaining dough to roll out.
I would carefully roll it out and then cut it into pieces and spread strawberry jam on it. Then Mom would roll them up and bake them for us until they were a nice golden brown. We'd have to wait until they cooled off a little before we could eat them. They were delicious and would almost melt in your mouth. The perfect ending to a Saturday!
Friday, October 20, 2017
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Thank you for sharing your stories. Even though I'd just found and read your whole blog this year, I'm enjoying your Amish stories as much the second time around as I did the first:-) You definitely have a gift for writing and storytelling.ReplyDelete
Thank you! I'm so glad you're enjoying them again.Delete
I am so enjoying reading your memories. I think they should be made into a book, maybe?ReplyDelete
Is that common that the Amish mothers only wash, comb, and fix their daughters hair once a week? That sounds very painful.ReplyDelete
In some communities, yes. Our hair stayed in a bun all week, each morning a comb was run back to the bun, and then a fabric band pinned in place to keep the hair that showed looking neat. By Saturday there was a whole row of snarls that had to be worked out. Painful describes it perfectly.Delete
I love your blog.. thanks so much for sharing your life with us.ReplyDelete
You're welcome! So glad you enjoy.Delete
Love rereading your work :)ReplyDelete
Thanks, that means so much!Delete
I remember Mom rebraiding my hair daily - and the brushing was painful then. I can only imagine what it would have been like after a week! I also had to lay on the counter while Mom washed my hair. Then the second brushing out, which seemed to be worse than the first! Thanks for stirring my memories!ReplyDelete
That second brushing used to be horrible!
The first time I read this post, I bought leave in conditioner for my kids. I have used it ever since :)ReplyDelete
Glad my pain helped some other children have less. :)Delete
I loved reading about the wisdom of your mother. Making a boring time like waiting for a floor to dry into a special happy time for two little ones seems the key to child-rearing success. She was teaching a solid work ethic, importance of helping in a family,self-worth, sharing, patience and happy anticipation. Famous child psychologists would benefit from knowing your mom's techniques.ReplyDelete
But as far as the hair washing...there are no words.
She was a gem.Delete
And the hair .. yep, no words about sums it up. :)
Yes every Saturday hair wash and in summer my mom would set me on a little chair in the sun ..if there was sun!!ReplyDelete
How fun! I was always kept indoors until my hair was dry and put back up into its braided bun.Delete
What a painful memory! You shared it so vividly, bless your heart! I wonder how your mother managed her own hair with her snarls?ReplyDelete
She'd work them out ... her pain tolerance was much higher than mine.Delete
Brought back some old memories too - yes the hair - but had completely forgotten "vas kan des 'hutchly' dannsa!"ReplyDelete