Blue Mondays

Submitted into Contest #31 in response to: Write a short story about someone doing laundry.... view prompt

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General



Blue Mondays





File 2543eNY


From The Diary of Anonymous, 1871

(Somewhere in New York State)



January 2

I dun the sweeping. Diana moped and baiked 3 pies, mins meat and berry. I washed the good close. I cut off sausage meat helped strain Lard in the evening. Sunny day but winda and cold.


January 9

A snowy monday day. I washed.


January 15

Diana and I are mostly sick. Nobody knows how lonesum we are without Loamena.

I dun all the work and sewed on the mechine sum and ironed.

We brought water to wash with. Filled the tub and set the firewood to boil it tomorrow. 

It snows today.


January 30

Cyrus went to Earlville and sold our chickens for 10 cents a pound. I washed the floors and scrubbed the leggins. But we need more lye. Mrs. Hyland and Miss Sullivan came to viset and staid to tea. A good day.


February 6

Sunny day, but very cold. Snow coming. I washed all the bed linens. Some had to soke all night because they were stained. My fingers ached because the water was very cold until the water got hot. I useda lot of bluing. Mr. Whitcom called.


I love thy name

I love thy word join

all my powers to

to praise the lord


February 27

I dun the sweeping. Diana moped and baiked 4 pies, mins meat and berry. I washed all the good close. Not to many but hard to clean. Sunny day but cold and winda. Sumtimes blustry.


March 6

Diana and I are mostly sick. Nobody knows how lonesum we are without our dear dear Loamena. I dun all the work and sewed on the mechine sum. We carried water to wash and set the firewood to boil it tomorrow. Mrs. Beach came.


March 20

Cy went to Earlville and sold chickens for 10 cents a pound. I washed the floors and scrubbed the leggins with the new board cost $.06. We need to make more lye. Mrs. Hyland and Miss Sullivan came spent the evening. A pleasant day but windy. A strong south wind.


March 27

Sun shines, but rather cold. Snow coming. I washed all the bed linens. Some were soked all night because they were stained. My fingers ached until the well water got het up.


April 4

Ice and rain. Late spring. I washed the table linens and took up big rug to beat if weather is good tomorrow. Cyrus needs to bring more bluing for the wash. Mrs. Sullivan wants me to help her with her washing as she is almost sick and her daughter is.

Thermometer marked to 40.


April 11

Cyrus brought washing soda and bluing from Hamilton. He went to Poolville to and Diana went to Earlville in a cutter. Dr. Griswold came while I was washing the curtains and table linens. I am nearly sick. So is Diana.

Thermometer marked to 40 again. A very nice day.


April 18

I dun the wash. Mr. Stephan Preston buried today. 92. Their was 3 very hard thunder showers in the morning.


April 24

Diana and I worked in the house. We went to the graveyard and want to set out flowers in urns soon. I mended the bed linens and put them to soke for the morning washing. Mrs. Boon came to tea.


April 25

I washed all morning. Flanel sheets. They are dry now I think. Mrs. Willey came to viset and staid to tea. A very pleasant day. Diana and I went to the graveyard.


May 2

I spend the day a home. A strange chilly day. My hands hurt in the water and my back is bad. I am nearly sick. Diana baiked pies and cackes. I helped sum about the house.


May 9

Ben Spicer jumped in the pond today and died. [relig]


May 16

We miss Loamena so much and mourn her. Diana and I went to the graveyard. I washed all the floors but not the close. A cloudy day.


May 23

I washed sum. We took our milk to factory to day. 100,95 pounds.


May 30

I dun the washing and hung it up to dry. I sewed sum on the mechine but my hands hurt from the scrubbing board. The wash is very heavy. Dr. Griswold came by. A warm day. Mrs. Snow buried.


June 13 

Cyrus brought me a new tub for washing. It is big and I can put more in it. I want a mechine washer but they are expensive. $2.52 at least. He got a new bucket to so we can bring more water from the well and no leaks. It is not so hard to work now I guess. I am still nearly sick with pain in my bowels. I dun the bath linens today. Very warm and sunny day.


June 26

Diana and I worked in the house. I helped Diana taik off paper. We went to the graveyard and still want to set out flowers in the urns. We were sick before. I mended the bed linens and put them to soke for the morning wash. Tip Plumb washed our sheep. 


July 4

I washed all morning because it is warm and sun. The flanel sheets will dry by dark. Miss Pool came to viset and staid to tea. A very warm and pleasant day. Thermometer marked to 90.


July 18

Very hot day but my hands hurt in the water from chilblains in winter and lye. I am nearly sick. Diana baiked bred. I helped her make mins and apple pies to. Mrs. Purday came spent the day.


July 25

I washed a very warm pleasant day.


August 1

I am nearly sick. Helped sum. We washed. We sold 4 sheep to Mr. Miller $3 a head. We let Mr. Curtis $50. Hatty Willey came.


August 8

We miss Loamena so much and mourn her. Nobody knows. Diana and I went to the graveyard. I moped all the floors but did not wash close today. Cloudy but thermometers points to 92.


August 15

We washed sum a very warm day. We are both nearly sick. We get through our haying to day.


August 22

I washed and ironed. Diana made fride cakes we maid raspberry jell maid 7 pounds a very warm day. Mrs. Gates came.


August 29

I washed sum. A very warm day. Cy went to Pierceville to foureer. Dr. Griswold Mrs. Bedford Mrs. Forbes came.


September 5

I dun all the washing and bluing and hung it all out to dry. I sewed sum on the mechine to. My hands hurt from the scrubbing board and I need a new wash stick. I want a vacume kind. I wish we had the new mechine for washing but we have to bucher hogs first. Mrs. Hames buried to day.


September 12

Cyrus took a tub of butter to Hamilton. I dun the table linens with lye. We bought a paper pins from a pack pedlar but I did not sew. Mat Hyland helped ty more straw. A very pleasant day but I am not happy. 


O how shall I thy Goodness tell father which thou to me hast showned.


September 26

Diana baiked and moped the floors. I dun the wash. Miss Sawdey came. She was beggen me gave $3. Cyrus gon to Utica. Maid sweet pickels. 

I see the pond from the shed window where I’m working.


October 10

Autumn. The well water is colder. My hands and shoulders are on fire. We drawed 4 loads wood.

The pond is round, like the wash tub. The water looks cold now, but there are still some white-flowered grasses around the edge of the wet blue circle. It is funny, but they look like soapsuds. Everything looks like soapsuds to me. Blue water with soap. I don’t think anybody ever washed clothes in the pond, though, specially since Ben Spicer jumped in. He never came out.


November 7

I am rather sick. I don’t want to wash today. I cleaned the chainbers. The pond is lovely. I sewed a little on the mechine and carried water for washing tomorrow. There is enough firewood to. Dark cloudy day. Diana done all the chores to the Barn and raiked.


All honor and praise to Jesus alone.



November 14

A dark cloudy day. I am sick today. Larisa came. Mr. Cushman sessed our property $2800.


November 21

I washed all morning am nearly sick. Mrs. Obrine Mrs. Nocholds and Mrs. Swift came to tea. A dark blowy cloudy rainy day.


November 28

We are very lonesom. Diana and I picked 13 chickens. I didn’t wash anything. We are boath sick we are not able to get our victuals. The pond is nearly frozen.


November 30

To day is Thanksgiven we asked cumpany from Earlville to day it was so cold and Christmas they could not come had chicken pie.


December 5


I am sick. It is too cold to wash.


***



December 12


Monday.


She went to the pond, kneeled for a moment to see if the stiff, foamy white grasses were real, then stood up and moved closer to the water. She dipped her fingers. I know they were terribly reddened with chilblains, into the water without lye. She ruffled the surface, as if testing the lye and bluing. That made the thin icy coating crackle. I herd it.


She was wearing a bright white garment, well laundered the way she always did things. It was not the sort of close you wear to wash things in a tub. It was like a bathrobe or something you put on to go out in the evening. I dont know where she got it from. The late afternoon wind, suddenly frigid as it can be here in December, gusted behind her as she jumped into the pond. Real blustry. The white cloud stuck to the blue surface for a few a long time. Then billows and body sank out of view. Nobody could help.


I saw this.


~ Diana






Diary Catalogued By:


Lavinia Rivers, Archivist


March 04, 2020 19:10

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12 comments

Kathleen March
04:25 Apr 04, 2020

Thank you. I was fortunate to spend time with a journal very similar to this. Women’s lives were hard and repetitive. They never learned to do much except work then.

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Felicity Edwards
21:43 Mar 11, 2020

An interesting story, I loved the spelling and the repetition. The journaling is a clever way to make a story, the economy of the words painted a picture of how hard their life was and the unexpected ending made it very poignant. Well done

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B. W.
15:27 Sep 25, 2020

You ever thought of writing a novel or have you maybe already done that? this is still really amazing and a 10/10 from me but i'm just wondering

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Kathleen March
16:39 Sep 25, 2020

I have been trying to work on a novel for years, but have gotten stuck in the land of literary criticism. This story is more of a stand-alone, but could easily fit in a different novel than my stories based in Santiago de Compostela. Thank you for your positive comments.

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B. W.
16:44 Sep 25, 2020

I'm also kinda trying to work on a novel, actually three of them, one i'm on chapter 5 but i've gotten writers block for it so i haven't done it for a while and because of that i'm working on the second one that's on chapter 10 and then on the third one i'm still thinking of some things for it so i actually haven't started it

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Kathleen March
16:47 Sep 25, 2020

So you could use the stories to build parts of the novel.

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B. W.
16:50 Sep 25, 2020

Hmm yeah i guess i could do that

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Kathleen March
17:42 Sep 25, 2020

Try it! You might like it.

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Graham Kinross
14:34 Dec 15, 2021

That was brutal. I like that you had the voice and the spelling of someone who wasn’t taught to write well. Grim stuff but compelling.

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Kathleen March
03:54 Dec 18, 2021

Thank you. I love the term brutal. But the sad part is the spelling is taken from an actual woman's journal. A nameless woman. I would guess she didn't get past 4th grade, if that.

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Kathleen `Woods
06:18 Aug 30, 2021

This was an interesting format to use for the prompt, there's kind of a double lensed effect when with the Archivist that's nice to listen to. Thanks for Writing!

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