Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Date:  Wednesday, March 6, 2013 

Time and Weather:  It's 10:55 PM.  It's 46 degrees.  Highs have been in the 60s this week.  

Clothes:  I'm wearing my favorite gray PJs and the robe I showed you in little favorites last week, the cozy purple/gray/white plaid one.  You've seen the PJs, too.     

Food:  We had Chinese take-out for supper.  I had lemon chicken with steamed rice, and a crab rangoon.  And just now I had some mini Reese's peanut butter cups.  Mmm. 

Sounds:  Everyone is in bed except for me.  I always lie down with Reece until he falls asleep (sometimes we both fall asleep) and we listen to chant or other music.  Lately we've been listening to a CD that Ron and I got when we went to a retreat years ago.  One of the songs on there is Mercy Me's I Can Only Imagine.  Reece really likes it, and sings little bits of it now and then.  I think I'll teach it to him so he can sing the whole thing.  I love it when he sings!   

Little Favorites:  My little pie bird.  So cute.  It looks like one of Old King Cole's blackbirds, baked in a pie.

Arts and Crafts:  I have finally started seaming the little sweater I knitted.  It's all done except for one side and the sleeve on that side.  I've learned the mattress stitch.  You can hardly tell where the seam is if it's a straight seam.  The places where I had to go around or where pieces were decreased or a different stitch look a little funky.  Oh well, it can be a learning sweater, I guess.  

Music:  Well, I have to play it for you now.  Imagine Reece's sweet little voice.  :o)

Memories:  When I was a little girl, Mom had a wringer washing machine and we hung our clothes outside on the clothes line.  The washer came with two metal tubs on legs, and we had to bring them in off the back porch when we wanted to do laundry.

First, Mom would run hot water into the washer and tubs.  There was a little black button on the front of the machine that you pulled out to make the agitator agitate.  When the clothes had been agitating for awhile, you had to take them out of the washer and run them through a wringer.  The water was usually hot, so we used a piece of a broomstick or something to dip out the clothes and put them into the wringer.  Mom always warned us not to get our hands too close to the wringer because if you got your hand in it, it would hurt and might break a bone in your hand.  Sure enough, I got my hand in it once, and although nothing broke, it did hurt like a son-of-a-gun.  It pulled my arm in, nearly to my elbow before we got it turned off.  I screamed and Mom came running.  

The wringer was attached to the machine and could move to different positions.  We would put the clothes through the wringer into one of the metal tubs filled with clean water.  The wringer got out most of the soap.  Once in the first tub, we would swish the clothes around to rinse them, then swing the wringer around and put the clothes through it into the next tub.  Mom would sometimes put bluing in the second tub.  It made white things look even whiter.  The clothes would get another good swish around (second rinse), the wringer was moved once again, and the clothes went through the wringer and into a laundry basket sitting below it.

Mom had a little cloth clothes pin bag that looked like a little dress.  It had a wire handle that hung on the clothesline and she pushed it along ahead of her as she worked.  We used the clothes pins it held to hang the clothes.  I remember handing Mom each piece of clothing or towels or whatever, and she would hang them up.  Sometimes I handed her the clothes pins.  That way she didn't have to bend over and things went faster.  I was too short to reach the line, or she would probably have had me hang them sometimes.  (I did when I was older).  She taught me to overlap the clothes a little bit, so that two items could be held with one pin.  Oh, and we always had to wash off the clothes lines with a wet rag before we hung anything.

I didn't mind doing laundry when it was warm, but I hated it when it was cold.  Mom had some metal things that she stuck down into the legs of Dad's jeans.  It would stretch them and make a crease.  Sometimes she would bring the jeans in after they had been hanging outside on a really cold day and they would be frozen stiff.

But on warm, breezy days it was a pleasure to be hanging clothes.  They dried in no time in our Kansas wind, and they smelled so wonderful.

Then it was time for ironing.  My mom was an ironing fiend.  She even ironed the sheets.  I can still see her, standing at the ironing board with a basket of clothes at her feet, ironing, ironing, ironing as she watched As The World Turns.  She taught me to iron, and I still iron shirts the way she taught me, all those years ago.  Martha Stewart had nothing on her.  :o)  Oh, and she used a glass Pepsi bottle with a little metal and cork sprinkler to sprinkle the clothes before ironing.  Then she would roll them up to keep them damp until they got ironed.  Sometimes, if she got sidetracked or ran out of time, we would discover the rolled up laundry wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator.  :o)   

Thank you, God:  for my mother.  Please help her to be aware that you are with her every second of her life, and never let her be afraid.  Help me to be a better caretaker for her.  This I ask in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I loved your memories of Mom and her taking care of our laundry - I remember all of it too! Life seemed so simple then. Love you!