topic 1910's


Nonc Gus

topic porch

porch Aunt Marie Br'r Rabbit


   One house we lived in for 12 years was in the back lane. It was Nonc Gus Amedee's house and it had three porches, a big front porch and two side porches.

   The front porch was a gathering place for evening especially in spring and summertime. The children sat around and the grownups sat in rockers and talked. If the mosquitoes started biting, everyone went inside, but while we were outside the little ones listened to French stories from Nonc Tetin. He always sat in the corner with his chair tilted against the railing. He had the children's complete attention. We all went through that stage of listening to his stories. "Campere Lapin", "Ti poucette", and other Br'er Rabbit stories in French. Later on it was another group of little ones and Aunt Marie would say in a low voice "We're going to hear all those same stories again". But we had other lively conversations at the other end of the porch. Papa always had plenty of news because he saw many people every day in his travels. Sometimes Mama would be there in her rocker and probably holding the baby of that year.

topic porch East

Florence


   The side porch to the East was not in much use, except of Saturday's cleaning of the kerosene lamps. If it was your job to attend to that on a Saturday morning, you took all the lamps to that porch and bring the supplies to clean the lamp chimneys. You needed to use a soft cloth and very gently wipe the inside and get the smoke out. Then you unscrewed the wick of the bottom container to clean the wick so it would make a good flame. Then you poured the coal oil, filling the container. Now you did the same for about 3 lamps and you would bring one to the kitchen and 2 to the front bedrooms. Of course don't forget the pot-de-chambre, which also got a cleaning and bring them back to the bedrooms. The side porch to the West had much more activity. This is where the washing was done. This is where the oyster-shucking was done in very cold weather. This is where vegetables were prepared for cooking. This is where the mustard leaves were rinsed over and over, and if Papa was around he would ask Florence to clean them because she did it so well and he knew they would be clean. There was also where we filled the buckets of water to bring to the table in the kitchen from the big cistern near the house. That porch was also the place where Florence placed a bucket of water to wash the feet of her little brothers before they went to bed. True! True! I saw her do this.

   She was a great helper for Mama. She would foresee what needed to be done and she would give us the orders. We all knew we had to help. That was part of living.

   Bless us all, May Reulet Gravois April 22-2002