My recent post down memory lane got me to thinking about eggs. In the post, I wrote about the first time I saw brown eggs.
In the comments of the post, I mentioned when we picked up the brown eggs at the farmhouse, the lady said she had to “clean them up” before giving them to us. As a young girl, it was news to me that eggs had to be “cleaned up.”
A reader commented that it was better to not clean the eggs as without the cleaning chemicals, the eggs could sit on the counter without refrigeration. This was news to me. What I know about eggs is that they come from a store, are lined up neatly in a carton where they are clean and white and all ready to be used.
But then I realized, well, I knew a little more than that.
I remembered that when I was growing up, in the 1960’s, our family had an “egg lady.”
The “egg lady” came every Saturday afternoon, usually around 4 pm. I can’t remember if she drove a van or a station wagon. I never even learned her name, but I can still see her in my mind’s eye. If I remember right, my mom once told me she lived across the river, somewhere in Illinois.
Each week she brought us six dozen eggs. We needed that many as we had six kids in our family. I remember my mom would pay her in cash, unzipping her small leather coin purse to add the change needed to the one dollar bills laying on the table to come up with the exact amount. The “egg lady” would scribble something down on a small piece of paper and possibly confirm next week’s order. I guess that was her bookkeeping.
It was an “event” when the “egg lady” came. I would run downstairs upon her arrival and get the empty cartons out of our old Kelvin refrigerator which had the rounded corners. The Kelvin had a drawer on the bottom which pivoted open where my mom stashed the empty cartons. See, we were recycling even before it was the thing to do. We recycled other things, too, like clothes; although, back then we called them hand-me-downs.
Once I got the cartons, I would sit in the kitchen to watch the egg/money exchange between my mom and the egg lady. She always came to the back door and up the four steps into the kitchen where my mom was making dinner. I would watch the “egg lady” and was a bit fascinated by her. I think occasionally I may have asked her a question. I do remember her quick smile. It wasn’t but a moment, and then she would pick up the empty cartons, say a pleasant goodbye, and scurry out the back door to her next stop.
I’m not one to say the good ole days are always better than the here and now. But you know, it was pretty cool having an “egg lady.”
Is there an “egg lady” in your past?