My daughter just reminded me of all the great times I had as a time with my Aunt Virgie (actually my great aunt). Virgie was a true mountain spirit. She was 13 when she married my Uncle Bart; the marriage lasted until she died well into her 70's. Bart and Virgie never had children. I was as close as she ever came to having a child; she was with my mom when I was born and I spent most weekends and lots of non-school days with them as a kid. She said my two were the only grandkids she would ever have, and she doted on them in much the same way she did me. My husband loves to tell people that the first time he met her she was doing cartwheels in the yard well into her sixties. Virgie was always a kid at heart and could make even the most solemn sourpuss smile. She and Bart were also famous spendthrifts. They went to bed early so they didn't have to use lights, and cooked and heated water for baths on the wood cookstove for the same reason. They were very special people and made a major impact on my life, and even after several years I miss them very much. Some of my best memories involve these two wonderful characters.
Washin' with Virgie
Jus as shore as Mondays come
Virgie's always got washin to be done.
Water's near about to boil
In a barrel for haulin' oil.
Baskets o' clothes, sheets off the bed
Breakfast is done, cats 'r' all fed.
Tubs lined up all in a row;
Sun's already startin' to show.
Lye soap in a brown paper sack
Waits on the porch out back.
Shave thin curls creamy 'n' white;
Butcher knife blade's shaped jus' right
From scrapin' bushels o' roastin' ears
An' slicin' melons over the years.
Good clothes in the tubs first;
Gingham checks 'n' polka dot shirts.
Scrub the coffee spilled from Bart's cup;
Remember the stains of Garrett's Sweet Snuff.
Rinse 'n' wring, 'n' hang on the wire;
Forked dogwood poles raised to the air.
Dump water 'n' suds on the ground;
See how the worms start squirmin' around.
Washin' an' scrubbin's finally all done
Pinned up an' dryin' in mornin's sun.
Out to the front porch, rest 'n' rock
All before dinner at twelve o' clock.
Late in the evenin', gather 'em in;
Come next Monday we'll do it again