17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Saturday, August 17, 1912: We had to keep house today because Ma and Pa and the kid went to a reunion up at Muncy. Was working all morning a trying to get house red up somewhat.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Grandma and her sister Ruth would have been home alone. The probably had to do both household and farm chores.
The kid refers to their 7-year-old brother, Jimmie
I think that “red up” is an old rural Pennsylvania (probably Pennsylvania Dutch) term that means tidy up.
When things are scattered around my house, I’ll say to my family, “We need to red up the house.”
Since we both grew up in central Pennsylvania he’d know exactly what I meant—though our children would roll their eyes.