Two Micahs marvel over the well.
Our visit to Bear Creek Farm in Gordo, Alabama was a cornucopia of neat surprises. Jan and Neal, the "Bear Creek Farmers", decided to add a little zest to their retirement by creating a destination of local history and land lore for children to visit and explore. Yesterday, we were among the happy beneficiaries of their decision.
Among other things, the kids learned how to draw water from a well and wash clothing in an old-time washing machine.
Neal encourages Max and Micah Naomi as they struggle to heave up the water bucket.
The sweetness of success as they bucket filled with well water finally comes up.
After drawing water from the well a few times, the kids were lured by an old-time "washing machine" which has a pump to draw well-water for washing clothing and household fabrics.
At first, they water they drew was muddy.
Max was captivated by the pump mechanism which brought well water into the washtub.
Max mans the wringer, which squeezes water and soap from the linens.
Bear Creek Farm makes its own soap, which was perfect for washing clothes. Once upon a time, the same soap was used for everything- from washing clothing to scrubbing bodies.
Jan explained how this long, thin funnel is used to pull water from a well that has been dug in the ground. I learned so much, but it feels like we only scratched the surface of all the things we might learn at Bear Creek Farm.
The kids took turns washing Mary's fabric baby wipes in the washing machine- which we then used to soothe a few fire ant bites on Micah's ankles. Last summer, I filled the baby pool with water and brought out a load of laundry so Max and Micah could "hand wash" it with soap, which they did. They also hung it out to dry. Maybe we could set up a rain water barrel for regular outdoor washings. Something tells me the kids might find laundry to be a more exciting activity than yours truly.