My grandparents had moved to Schlüchtern a little town in Hessen (Germany) to avoid the heavy bombing of Frankfurt where they lived. In this little town the war seemed far away, except that it was difficult to buy food, but it was still easier on the countryside then in a big town. My mother followed when I was born in 1943 and stayed with her parents. All I can remember was that we all lived in a big timber framed house together with my grandpa's brother, his wife, some sisters and the house was packed.
I must have been 2 or 3 years old, but I still can remember the courtyard and a little boy who shared my room and who cried all the time. Fortunately my grandparents found two rooms to rent in a big house owned by a widow and a little later they moved into a small apartment where my grandma stayed until she was 85. They took me with them and I stayed until I was 6, then my parents took me back to live with them.
Of course there was no bathroom nowhere. People went once a week usually on Saturdays to the public bath. I remember that my grandma packed towels and soap in a bag and off we went to have our weekly bath. There I was already older maybe 4. Before that, it was an exciting preparation when it came to my bath time on Saturday morning.
I tried to find similar pictures of the cupboard and the stove as I remember.
My grandma heated water on the kitchen stove, took out a big zinc tub which she put on the kitchen floor. The kitchen was the heart of the apartment, we stayed in there all the time, it was warm because of the kitchen stove which is known as a "range" in the UK. It was a very cozy place, with a large table, chairs and a cupboard.
When the water was heated she filled in the tub checked the temperature of the water and then put me in. What fun it was, splashing in the warm water. She scrubbed me with soap and when I was clean enough in her opinion, she wrapped me in a warm towel, which she had hanged at the stove. Later on, my grandpa would go to the public bath and then my grandma, one had to stay with me of course !
I almost had forgotten this Saturday ritual, but I noticed that with the age, suddenly childhood memories come back.
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday