John Larrysson Column: Summer Story Chapter 5 Part 2 - The Weekly Bath

Unlike in Chinese society, the English historically bathed very rarely. Instead they would just wash their hands and faces, that is the places that show. The idea of bathing the whole body once a week was shockingly often. A few people, such as Laura's parents believed that frequent washing was good. They believed that cleanliness was next to godliness.

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The winter was very cold and very long. Laura and Mary began to be tired of always staying in the house. They were not allowed to go outside to play. They lived in a one room log house with a fireplace. The girls only had simple toys. There were no computers, no phones and no video games. Their parents worked hard to keep them warm and fed. For the girls, winter was long and boring. Especially on Sundays, the time went so slowly.

Their family was Christian. So every Sunday, Mary and Laura were dressed in their best clothes, with fresh clean ribbons in their hair. They were very clean, because they had their weekly baths on Saturday night.

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Their house had no indoor plumbing. There were no water taps or showers. Water had to be carried to the house. It was a lot of work to carry all the water they needed. In the summer they were bathed in water from the spring. But in the wintertime her father filled and heaped the washtub with clean snow. Her mother heated the snow and it melted and became warm water. Then close by the warm cooking stove, behind a screen made of a blanket over two chairs, her mother bathed Laura and then her mother bathed Mary.

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Laura was bathed first, because she was littler than Mary. She had to go to bed early on Saturday nights, with her doll Charlotte. After she was bathed and put into her clean nightgown, her father had to carry the washtub of dirty water outside and fill it with snow again for Mary's bath. Then after Mary came to bed, her mother had her bath behind the blanket and then her father had his. And they were all clean, for Sunday.

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(The original book is in the public domain under Hong Kong copyright law. This simplified copy is under my new copyright.)

The Little House in the Big Woods

Chapter 1 - Part 1: Introduction

Chapter 1 - Part 2: Wolves in the Night

Chapter 1 - Part 3: Venison

Chapter 1 - Part 4: Smoked Meat

Chapter 1 - Part 5: Food for Winter

Chapter 1 - Part 6: Butchering Time

Chapter 1 - Part 7: After Butchering Time

Chapter 1 - Part 8: Winter

Chapter 1 - Part 9: Winter Night

Chapter 1 - Part 10: About the Author & Where to Find the Book

Chapter 2 - Part 1: Winter Days and Winter Nights

Chapter 2 - Part 2: Jack Frost

Chapter 2 - Part 3: Laura and Mary Helped Mother with the Housework

Chapter 2 - Part 4: Churn on Thursday

Chapter 2 - Part 5: The Best Time of All

Chapter 2 - Part 6: Her Father Began to Play his Fiddle and Sing

Chapter 2 - Part 7: Father Told Stories

Chapter 2 - Part 8 - The Story of Grandfather and the Panther

Chapter 3 - Part 1: Introduction (The Long Rifle)

Chapter 3 - Part 2: Making Bullets

Chapter 3 - Part 3: Cleaning the Gun

Chapter 3 - Part 4: Loading the Gun

Chapter 3 - Part 5: Where and Why to Keep a Gun

Chapter 3 - Part 6: The Story of her Father and the Voice in the Forest Part 1

Chapter 3 - Part 7: The Story of her Father and the Voice in the Forest Part 2

Chapter 4 - Part 1: Christmas in the Forest

Chapter 4 - Part 2: Making a Gift for his Wife

Chapter 4 - Part 3: Christmas is Coming

Chapter 4 - Part 4: Children Make Pictures in the Snow

Chapter 4 - Part 5: Prince & the Blue Dress (part 1 of 3)

Chapter 4 - Part 6: Prince & the Blue Dress (part 2 of 3)

Chapter 4 - Part 7: Prince & the Blue Dress (part 3 of 3)

Chapter 4 - Part 8: Christmas Morning

Chapter 4 - Part 9: Santa Claus Only Gives Presents to Children

Chapter 4 - Part 10: Breakfast, Dinner and Goodbye

Chapter 5 - Part 1: Sundays

Chapter 5 - Part 2: The Weekly Bath

Chapter 5 - Part 3: Being Quiet

Chapter 5 - Part 4: The Story of Grandfather's Sledge and the Pig (part 1 of 4)

Chapter 5 - Part 5: The Story of Grandfather's Sledge and the Pig (part 2 of 4)

Chapter 5 - Part 6: The Story of Grandfather's Sledge and the Pig (part 3 of 4)

Chapter 5 - Part 7: The Story of Grandfather's Sledge and the Pig (part 4 of 4)

Chapter 5 - Part 8: Sunday Music

Chapter 5 - Part 9: Birthday Spanking

by John Larrysson

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A native English speaker who has been teaching practical English in Hong Kong for over two decades.


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