We burned wood in both cook stove and heater, and as the ashes would accumulate, they would be taken out and put in a large wooden barrel in the yard which had a small opening at the bottom. As the barrel filled up with ashes and the rain fell to keep it moist, the lye would settle to the bottom and drip out of the small opening of the barrel into a container. This was the lye Mama would make soap with, to do the family wash.

In the fall of the year, the first real cold spell would be hog killing time. Papa would salt the meat down and cure it for the year's supply of meat, after it was thoroughly chilled.

We would also have a barrel of sorgham molasses made from sugar cane he had grown. There would be syrup mills to take the cane to, where it would be made into syrup. The cane would be put in the mill, which would be turned by a horse going round and round turning the mill, crushing the juice out of the cane. The juice would be caught in large containers and then put into large iron kettles to be boiled down, so as to be as thick and syrupy as wanted.

Wild plums were plentiful on the creek. Mama would make gallons of plum preserves, jelly and plum butter. She would put the preserves in crock jars; some gallon size and even larger. A crock lid would be put on the jar and hot sealing wax poured around it to seal the air out. We had an orchard and Mama canned and dried peaches for the year's supply.

And we always had plenty of milk and butter. We had an old jersey cow that would chase me every time she could. So as they were going to milk the cows one evening, of course I was tagging along behind, and here the old jersey cow came headed for me. There happened to be a big wooden barrel in reach of me. I jumped in it and started rolling. When they put her in the cow lot, I crawled out.

Pioneer Life Special Days