Telling Our Stories:
Story telling is the Shuswap
way of passing our history
to the next generations
The Saturday Nite Family Baths
From the earliest time I call remember, Saturday nites stands out as memorable to me. Every Saturday night we would get ready for our weekly family ritual, the family bath.
We didn’t have running water in those days, nobody on the reserve had it. Jake and I had to pack every drop of water in the house from down at the Little Creek, a quarter mile down the hill. We did this pretty well every couple of days of the year except maybe Sundays.
Anyway, because of this scarcity of water and the amount of time it took to heat the water, we used only one tub of water for the whole family to bathe. First up was dad, then mom, Mary, Jake, and because I was the youngest I was last.
I remember the tub sitting upstairs next to the top of the stairs. By the time it was my turn, I remember very well that the water was now cold and it was a milky white because of the bar soap that was used. Shampoo and conditioner was still years away. I still remember shivering in that tub and never stayed in a minute longer than I absolutely had to.