a Little Diddy about Suds in Buckets

By June 29, 2024 Heather

If you enjoy country music like I do, you’re probably familiar with a song that just turned 20 years old by Sara Evans Called Suds in the Bucket.

It went to #1 back then in top played song.

I heard it on the way to Costco this morning, after staying up last night with the hubs because we agreed neither of us remember seeing St. Elmo’s Fire as kids so let’s see what we recall and if it holds up. (Foreshadowing hint, it didn’t :/)

 The song and movie connect and add flavor to my week of positive reflection.

I can sing along to Suds in a Bucket just like I can get me some Fancy and Walkaway Joe in my own private commute van karaoke booth. Similar to them all, these huge hits for fantastic ladies of the late 90’s and early 2000’s, when you start to break it down and think it through, you think about it.

Add 20 years of life experiences and people met and talked to, when I start thinking of what they’re saying, I can’t help but wonder what that really paints out.

Kinda like how when Jason Mraz redid Billy Jean by Michael Jackson and sang it slower so I made out what I’ve been singing since I was 7 years old is not what I thought he said. Ohhh yes. That is so funny to me. Who knew?

Ok. Suds. She left the suds in the bucket if you don’t know the song, here’s lines excerpted for the gist of it:

She was in the backyard, say it was a little past nine

When her prince pulled up a white pickup truck

Her folks should’ve seen it coming, it was only just a matter of time

Plenty old enough and you can’t stop love

She stuck a note on the screen door, “Sorry, but I got to go”

She left the suds in the bucket and the clothes hanging out on the line.

I was married and had my son the year this song came out, and of course the long history of things prior to that, I still say to myself today as I did then when I hear it,

When did anyone had Suds in a bucket to leave in the first place?

If he’s a prince and with a white horse, I mean truck, then why doesn’t he ask your Dad first? Why does he steal you away? Is that a prince? Were you a slave? Is that why there were suds?

I always liked hanging clothes on a line outside. That fresh air.

I haven’t lived anywhere to do that since 1987.

Goals though.

However handscrubbing clothes in a suds bucket with a washboard, I assume, would insinuate that she was possibly from a time when washers weren’t invented or attainable, a luxury. This would assume that it was a luxury since the prince was driving a white truck.

She’s got her pretty little bare feet hanging out the window

And they’re heading up to Vegas tonight

How could 18 years just up and walk away?

Our little pony-tailed girl grown up to be a woman

Now she’s gone in the blink of an eye

She left the suds in the bucket and the clothes hanging out on the line

Now I’m thinking he stole her. Or he was a bad guy and her parents wouldn’t condone it, however neither are mentioned in the lyrics.

Basically this catchy tune hit #1 and it was a very simple song that explained a girl came of age and she had to hand wash, rinse and hang the family laundry outside their screen door and this prince drove up in a white truck and she left her post to run away to Vegas and get married and never return or tell her family where she went and now the whole town is going to talk about it in church and at the salons.

Again, cute and catchy song that did well for the writers and the singer. I just seem to always think about it when it’s on and can’t not think about the story’s purpose.

As a kid and young adult, I remember the brat pack. They were all in the movies, being cast, on the magazines. So many classic movies of the 80’s were ruled a success merely for them being in it.

I challenge to you rewatch them all! Some – awesome. Some – whoa there tiger. No wonder we’re this way. Lol.

I think there’s truth to the generation you grew up in and how the products, shows, music, headlines, and overall education system ways – shaped who we are and why we are. Re-watching all the shows that shaped us tend to help us reconnect with ourselves and why we may be where we are and how we can get better and be ok with forgiving and return to seeking our purpose and not all the distractions we made society normalize.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090060 – Watch it here

Yes, so St. Elmo’s Fire. We’re 48 and 49 and didn’t remember this one. So it’s free on prime right now and we wanted to see what ths fuss was 39 years ago when it was Yuge.

More then 20 minutes in, we’re like – what’s the story? Where are we going?

With not much storyline other than 7 young adults became good friends through college and now they’ve graduated and have to adult. And they jump around a lot and timelines are somewhere between graduation, Halloween and winter.

Here’s what I’ve learned about the movie 39 years later and through the lens of belief we’re all influenced by an engineered environment outside of our homes.

Undiagnosed stalking is ok, Kirbo

There’s a struggle of transitioning from frat, brat pack college life to real life and it’s way hard to figure out what to do now

Democrats will work for Republicans because they’ll make more money faster

Spontaneous stranger sex is fully acceptable and encouraged

It’s ok to be a mistress, use cocaine and drive drunk but if you start lying about it, we have to intervene

“Love isn’t Sex, it’s just sex”

Openly having a wife and a child will not slow down mutual participation in acquaintance sex, stranger sex or friend make out sessions. It simply won’t. But that wife beyotch better not bring a guy to my sax solo show. I’ll flip out.

Oh, so dysfunctional relationships are cool.

Straight alcohol drinkers, neat please. They drink vodka, whiskey, brandy by itself and room temperature like Mad Men and they’re recent college graduates.

They smoke everywhere. Regular and menthols. I admit we did that back then. It’s true. Just not at work. You had to go outside. And that was the 90’s so maybe ten years prior in 1985 they did smoke at work. Very likely. They finally got rid of ashtrays on airplanes in the 2000’s because I assume they finally made new planes and the cleaners were sick of the gum and wrappers shoved in there by the same people who dump popcorn down the move theaters.

Worst of all in the end, Billy was able to finally take the one girl’s virginity away and he left for good and really wanted it before he left so she finally gave in. His divorce was almost legal after all.

Wuh wuh.

On a thought provoking positive side, I wrapped up my first book club with Brene Brown and totally bugged my kids and spouse to please read it and on and on. It helped me step back and see all the good in this week and growing in myself and values.

I don’t ever want to come off that I am doom or gloom. I simply point out sometimes the underlying normalization of things that really aren’t what the majority of us want or do and how we all function anyway, while its on all the screens and speakers for us to think are suitable options for our society.

I think it’s these things that actually tear away at it and reinforce why books like Brene Brown’s are so important to remember.

I met two separare senior citizens on two very different occasions this week. One, named John trusted me with his vulnerability and shared that when he lost his wife almost two years ago, he lost half of himself and he’s struggling with finding his place today and what to do with himself.

It was raw. Praying for John.

I found out he almost died in a combine accident after he was first married to her and almost lost a leg and we discussed how he must keep surviving these times because he has a purpose not realized yet and God was working through him.

A second person in a second town, Peggy, was letting me know that as a child her father molested her and it’s been very hard for her to live with and still try to love him when he did such horrible things.

I could see that while she was out of her home, which didn’t seem to happen often, she has indents on her cheeks to her ears where her oxygen tank must usually sit.

On the other hand, she told me she’s getting ready to celebrate her 47th wedding anniversary and her oldest son got paid today so while she was where we were talking, her husband and son were at Walmart buying groceries and excited for it.

I let her know I thought she was brave for finding a way to find peace with that and having great things today to focus on.

Wow. I can’t even imagine that bear to carry.

So yeah. It’s been a week. The human condition is always real.

I don’t think having these off-reality movies or songs should be censored, I think they raise good discussion topics on how we got here, body counts without belonging and all. Yet it does make you question what we all are trained to believe is love and belonging, doesn’t it?

I have this thing for reality relationship shows that are engineered for drama yet already drama within their own unscripted lives. I feel like that is what gives me the pulse of our future because they’re the ones allowing cameras in when they aren’t getting much gain other than Instagram followers and enough fans to warrant more seasons.

And basically show you the rotted core that was once respect, integrity, morals, love, honor and security. It’s amazing to me how many people compromise those things but can’t get over your lack of budgeting skills. Every one of the shows I find fascinating with working class search of lifelong partnerships, have gems within them. Hope. People who still know that sometimes you just want suds in a bucket and watching silly movies snuggled up on a Friday night with your best friend.

I pray for each person to find their person.

I pray for love and belonging and solid strong parenting. I pray for morals and conscience to come through and for us to all stand unified that if we just agreed sex is for love and love only, think of how every corruption and unspeakable act on the souls of humanity would cease.

Like Fancy’s story. Or all those Walkaway Joes.


I’ll just leave those suds in the bucket right there.


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