Minden Press-Herald

Thursday
Oct 02nd

That Pot: Black as Smut

criderI saw an old wash pot recently and was reminded of the treasured one we used growing up. It was very versatile container and we used it often. Mama and Grandma used it every Monday (wash day). We would collect rainwater in large barrels as water rushed down the steep tin-roof of the hay barns. Early Monday morning, after milking the cows, the boys would bring big buckets, filled with water, from the barrels to the wash pot...until it was full. Soon the well-built fire was going and the water was 'smoking'. Washing was on the 'to-do' list for today!

Do you remember the steps? "Fill the pot, rinse and 'blue' the chothe, hand scrub the dirty spots on the rub board, a couple of rinsing - and clothes looked like new.. Do we need to take our turn in the "old wash pot" and get our smut removed? Thank God for the old black wash pot!

Later in the fall, the wash pot was turned into a cooker for the best hominy around. Selected corn was carefully shelled and picked clean for this special project. The ashes from previous fires were placed in boiling water with a few other items (I have forgotten) and hominy was on the make! After a time of cooking, there was a process of several rinsing before placing in large jugs to can for the winter. White gold! O, you versatile black wash pot!

Soon, it was time to kill hogs on a cold day.This was the biggest project on the farm in the winter - 'hog-killing' days. This involved all the family and neighbors. We always had a choice to attend school or help with this day-long ordeal. Well, it only took me once to learn I had rather go to school than to experience all that happens from daylight to dark on these days. Of course, the wash pot was the center of all activity. When the day was over, my daddy would say, "we saved everything but the squeal!" And we did!

Sometimes we would use the wash pot for dying clothes or curtains, or get warm water for those infamous Saturday night baths in the winter time. But with modernization, the wash pot gave way to the electric washing machine, canned goods, and other modern conveniences. But the memories linger whenever one of the old pots makes a proud appearance at the antique store or carport sale.

Comparsions can be made to the Biblical references of the "pot". The water pot was very important to the Jewish people. Some were earthen pots, others were of various alloys and combinations.Think of the pots used to cook the sacrificial animals for the Jewish celebrations! Unlike the old wash pots we remember, these all had to be cleaned over and over since they were used for ceremonial purposes.

There are some references made to the heart that is 'black as smut' If your heart is 'black as the smut-covered pot' it may be wash day for you. Get rid of the smoke, let Jesus' love clean up your life through HIs redemptive love. Cast the old black pot aside and come clean. Let the love of God through Christ Jesus wash your heart anew and bring about the new creation He desires from each of us.

 

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