Obsolescent Necessities

The first book in the Westward Sagas was named Spring House because most of the important scenes in the story took place in a spring house.

My grandparents, whom I discussed in my last post, also had a spring house. It was no longer in use, but I remember exactly how the native rock structure looked. I thought it was pretty cool, and it was. Cool spring water came out of a natural flowing spring running inside the structure by way of troughs that allowed the spring water to slowly trickle down the man-made trace into a pool of water twelve to eighteen inches deep. My parents told me how Grandmother would place the crocks of butter, milk, and eggs in the circulating water to keep them cool.

Granddad eventually bought an ice box, which eliminated running to the spring house on the creek for a glass of milk. The ice box worked pretty well when the local ice man came by twice a week during summer months to replenish the quickly melting ice. The residents along the Pedernales River called on their congressman and neighbor Lyndon Johnson to get electricity to the area like the folks in the city had. His support for the Rural Electrification Project earned him a lifetime of praise and support for his efforts.     

 It was an exciting day when Granddad switched that light switch on for the first time. An electric refrigerator soon replaced the ice box, no-longer-needed kerosene lamps were stored in the ice box, and the spring house became just a cool place to be after a hard day of work or a place for the grandchildren to play. The word spring house and ice box would become obsolete.

Look for words next week that have been recycled to mean something other than their original intent. You might be surprised.

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