Sunday, April 10, 2011
A lost cause
Every Wednesday, a milkman has his round in our town. He delivers dairy products like milk, buttermilk, yogurt, fresh cheese, butter, eggs,.. My neighbor is a regular customer. The milkman drives a truck nowadays, but he still wears his typical uniform and hat.
There's something nostalgic about that picture. The pride in the eyes of the milkman, the way he presents his merchandise. It was the love for his profession - and probably the 10 hungry mouths that needed to be fed at home - that kept him going. People didn't have cars in those days, nor supermarkets to get their groceries. That's a hard to imagine thought in this century. We are so used to going to the store whenever we need something, that we forget about our ancestors, who kept pigs and hens in their backyard. They grew their own vegetables and fruit, baked apple pies and had a delicious beef stew on the stove, waiting to be gobbled up by the hungry mouths. Porridge made of buttermilk and apples, sprinkled with spoonfuls of packed brown sugar. Home made chicken stock when you needed extra strength in winter time. Women with cracked, rough and red hands, scrubbing floors and cooking their laundry in big, black pots.
Our house is over 120 years old. We bought it from 2 single sisters, who had lived here for ages. They grew their own vegetables. They didn't have running water nor decent electrical facilities. They were in their nineties when one of them died and they other was brought to a nearby nursing home by her family. I like the fact that our house has a history. It keeps the house alive and I'm sure plenty of stories can be told about its previous residents. I wonder what profession the people in our house had in 1900..