Even the calendar says that summer is here. There are pleasant mornings when the sun rapidly heats the land. There are sudden afternoon showers.
Orange lilies and Queen Anne’s lace fill the strip between the fence and the road. Young bluebirds have learned to fly steadily from limb to limb.
And there are lightning bugs in the evening darkness.
Yes, summer has come to Robertson County.
In previous columns, there was a look at suggestions made by the Watkins Company for the springtime. Their book, published in 1941, tried to make life easier in the home.
There are also suggestions in the book for the summertime, suggestions that often recall the days when “the living was easy.”
For example, do you remember the smell of laundry that had been dried outdoors?
“Watkins Household Hints” suggests that a new clothesline be soaked in hot water and hung out to dry. Next it should be rubbed with a liquid wax in order to keep the line flexible and waterproof.
Brightly colored clothes should be hung in the shade to keep them from fading.
Do you remember the days when strawberries were available only during strawberry season? They were not shipped and available year round at the grocery store.
In buying berries, the grocer should be asked to “turn out” the contents of the basket. Soft and moldy fruit often “caked” in the center, according to the Watkins book.
At home, fresh berries should be spread on a platter and soft ones removed. If stored overnight, the berries should not be washed until 30 minutes before serving.
Fresh cherries should be used when they are firm and not over-ripe. They should be left on the stem and kept in the refrigerator until ready to use.
If juice from citrus fruits needs to be stirred, a silver, glass, or stainless steel spoon is necessary. The juice itself must be placed in a glass, china, or enameled pitcher.
To remove a berry stain, the material should be placed over a bowl. A rubber band can be used to hold it in place.
Salt can be rubbed into the stain since salt will set it. Finally, boiling water should be poured over the stain from a distance of two feet.
Mustard stain from a summertime hot dog should be sponged with lukewarm water. A solution of ammonia can be used before rinsing.
Perspiration stains, the book suggests, can usually be removed with mild soap and lukewarm water.
Perspiration stains on white clothes can be removed by bleaching with hydrogen peroxide and placing in the sun.
For those stains on colored clothes, diluted vinegar should work. The book suggests rubbing lightly.
But what about camping? What about picnic lunches and insect bites?
“Watkins Household Hints” has suggestions for those, too.
In the Eagle’s Eye is sponsored by the Robertson County Historical Society. Call 615-382-7173 for more information.