Thursday, January 18, 2007
Laundry Day Memories
Yesterday I posted about a laundry episode I'd like soon to forget. But today, I'm a bit melancholy and find pleasant memories surfacing about my grandma Donna. She had her laundry room right in her kitchen. At one point, the washer and dryer were hidden in a closet that protruded from a side wall. Someone took down the enclosure which opened up the kitchen a bit and gave her "counter space" by using the tops of the washer and dryer. Grandma always had a certain day of the week for laundry. Half of her items were hung outside on the line ... but she preferred her towels to go in the dryer. My job in all of this was ironing the pillowcases and grandpa's white hankies. There were never any missing socks as she washed his dress socks and her support hose out by hand. The clothes line was always wiped down before use ... because she fed day old bread to the sparrows (I don't need to explain that one). My bestest treat would be to spend the night and have freshly line dried and pressed sheets. Imagine a kid today appreciating such a thing. Her washing machine from the 1960's is (last I knew) still being used by the elderly lady that bought my grandparent's home a few years ago (must have been a Maytag, ya think). She always insisted that the machine would last longer by not overfilling it with laundry ... she may have been on to something. Of course, she didn't have to do the mounds of clothes I have washed raising my brood. My dad's mom had an electric wringer type washer down in her cellar. To my best recollection, she didn't have a dryer, but hung EVERYTHING outside ... or in the basement to dry in the winter. She made her own lye soap and had a big smooth stick she'd use to swish the soap in the water before adding the laundry. Ironing everything was a must ... she worked tirelessly to keep up with the work at hand. My memories of her include a large garden she tended and loads of canning equipment down in the cellar including the fruit of her labor. My favorite were her canned beans. Nothing went to waste. Have to run and put the cars in the garage ... it's snowing again. Care to share a special memory of your grandma (or grandpa)? I'd love to reminisce with you.