My Grandma's Lye Soap


My Grandma's Lye Soap

I think awhile back I mentioned to you about making homemade soap. I sure wish I could remember how my Grandma made it but to many years have passed since then.

During the war this was the only soap we had to bathe with and wash dishes and clothes in. It was quite a process. At five years old I got to learn alot of things but of course I asked a thousand questions and most always got an answer.

The bathing part with this soap was real tricky as my grandma made sure we were clean even though the only thing we did was go to church. She diluted the soap so as not to scald us but some places on your body you had to be real careful with. She warned everyone how to use and dilute it as she did not want anyone getting hurt. Now remember this was in 1943, and times were tough but not to me as at such a young age I just watched and learned.

Now when you bathed you had to be real extra careful cause any open cut or hole you got it into it was going to burn for sure. It was pure hell, it made folks holler and you knew they done got it somewhere they shouldn't have. I always wondered where they got it when I heard them hollering and my Grandmother told me hush and just use your imagination.

Well we had a revival come to the church and my Grandparents put the preacher and his wife up for the duration. Their old car was in need of repair so my Papaw fixed it. The couple was Brother and Sister Grant. He was skinny and kind of redheaded and I do believe she was the prettiest Lady I had ever seen.

The only way to bathe before church was in a bath house behind the main house. No indoor fixtures in them days. I heard my Mamaw tell Sister Grant to be careful with the soap because it would irritate a bit. Well off to the back house her and him went to get ready for church.

In a little bit I heard the preacher holler a mite then her do the same thing. I said, "I wonder where they got the lye soap". My Grandma said, "Tom C. Lee just hush and use your imagination but be quiet". It was hard to do so and when we got ready to leave I looked at him and her and started laughing. Of course her face was a tad red. They said, "My he is a happy feller" and my Grandmother said, "Yes he laughs all the time".

Of course I had been just using my imagination.. Ha Ha

Janie Moser © 06/17/07
As told by Tom C. Lee


Lyrics Johnny Standley
It's In The Book










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