Mary Beekman is a four-year-old ghost who resides in The Beekman Mansion, and considers Brent and Josh her “imaginary friends.” Follow Mary Beekman’s Diary each week to learn what it’s like to be a young child in early 19th century America
When it is laundry day, I have to stay far out of the way of the women who are helping Mother. Once a little girl came running in the kitchen to ask a question. The lady who was stirring the clothes in boiling water was startled and the big kettle tipped. The little girl was under the spilling water and was burned so badly she expired after two days. My Mother told me this story. It made me very sad. I bet her mama misses her very much. That story really frightened Josh and Brent too. We are going to roll the ball down the hallway and stay away from the laundry work.
If our clothes have stains on them, they have to be treated in a certain way. Mother has it all written down in her journal for housekeeping. Chalk is used for grease and oil stains. Lemon and onion juice lightens stains. Alcohol and kerosene removes grass stains. Milk is used to get rid of urine stains and smells as well as fruit stains. Human urine is used as a bleaching agent….hog manure also. Lemon juice and then setting clothes in the sun also bleaches them. When I get bigger, I will start a journal of my own for MY house. I don’t think I will write in about the hog manure.
After the clothes are washed and wrung out, they have to dry. In the summer we all help to lay them on clean grass or bushes or on the line. In the winter or on rainy days they have to be hung in the attic. Mother likes it best if they can be put outside. Later in the day all the clothes are taken off the line and sprinkled with water and folded to be ironed the next day. Sometimes there is so much that it is evening before it is all in and folded.