“Thou shall not be dirty” and “Thou shall not be impudent” were the two commandments of Grandmother
Henderson upon which hung our total salvation.
Each night in the bitterest winter we were forced to wash faces, arms, necks, legs and feet before going to
bed. We would go to the well and wash in the ice-cold, clear water, grease our legs with the equally cold stiff
Vaseline, then tiptoe into the house. We wiped the dust from our toes and settled down for schoolwork,
cornbread, milk, prayers and bed, always in that order. Momma was famous for pulling the quilts off after we
had fallen asleep to examine our feet. If they weren