Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wistful Wednesday: Ironing

I don’t iron much anymore.  A few table runners and my kitchen valences. I do know how to iron.  I double starched many a uniform for Far Guy and when the girls were little they had cotton dresses.

Yesterday I cleaned the laundry/furnace room.  I dusted off the iron..and vacuumed off the ironing board.  That is one old iron I think I have had it about 20 years, it used to steam, not so much anymore.  The ironing board is older, we got it for a wedding gift over 43 years ago.  I hardly ever take it out..if I iron something I usually put a towel on the cupboard and iron away.

I learned to iron when I was 7 years old in 1958.

Connie Ironing 1958 (2)

My mom wrote on this photograph “My Helper.”

I was ironing in the old farm house kitchen.  There are clothes folded neatly on the table that is covered with an oilcloth and more laundry must be in that basket in the chair.

I know we washed one day, and almost everything was hung out on the line outside to dry.  In the winter the clothes freeze dried stiff as a board.  My Mom had a wringer washer in the basement.  She would painstakingly get everything ready to hang..she would fold the sheets in half and then put the four points for the clothes pins all together so they were easy to hang, one after another the sheets would go into the basket ready to hang up outside.  No matter what breeze was going through the yard, clothes were wrinkled after going through that wringer.  Dads pants would go on the pants stretchers..just so..so the creases were right.  Mom’s hands were constantly red and chapped in the wintertime.  Sometimes the unmentionables and socks would be hung on the old wooden drying rack.

I liked to sprinkle clothes and then roll them up and put them in the plastic bag to be ironed the next day.  I liked the smell of the clothes fresh off the line.  When you ironed that outdoor fresh smell filled the air and delighted the olfactory senses of the person wielding the iron.  Can you smell it? :)

Blog Signature

25 comments:

  1. Yes, I can smell it! Great description of how you did laundry back in the day of wringer washers and hanging things on the line, even in winter! People worked much harder then!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, and meant to say, cute spring photos on your header!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I do remember how wringer washer! Was renting a flat up in Darwin way back when I was in my early to mid twenties. They had one of these and I just HATED it as everytime I tried to wind my sheets through they would start winding around the top part and hitting the lever to stop it wouldn't work so by the time I did get it to stop I had one big mess and would take me ages to unwind it as it was wound around so tight.
    and put rubber diapers through that wringer diapers and explodes and I ruined a couple of shirts
    And you had the clothes you déjas caught in the wringer? or ruined a couple of shirts?

    ReplyDelete
  4. there is a certain smell to ironing which for ever will take me back to my childhood and my mother.

    ReplyDelete
  5. We had an old "spinner" washing machine. You took the clothes out of the "tub" and put them in a spinner. Then we would hang the clothes outside or on wash lines strung around the basement. Still can't beat the smell of sheets hung on a clothes line outside. No one will ever be able to duplicate that smell.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I had completely forgotten about sprinkling clothes for ironing, and you brought the memory flooding back. I used to iron, and I have one that I pull out every year or so for something. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Somehow I ended up with my mother's ironing board. I don't have much of my mother's, but I have her ironing board! :)
    I still iron more than I'd like to. Never been one of my favorite jobs.
    Laura @ The Sweet Simple Things

    ReplyDelete
  8. I hardly ever iron any more. Like you, I was "mother's helper" and ironed the handkerchiefs and pillow cases.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Not much ironing done here any more either. Usually the ironing board is in the sewing room, piled high with future 'projects', and no room to iron on it. Or I can manage to clear a small bit at the end, and hope that the pile doesn't fall off while I'm using the iron. Funny, I don't notice the smell of laundry dried outside, but it must be because I am so used to it. Didn't get a dryer until long after my kids were out of cloth diapers. Funny though, I notice a perfumey smell to the clothes out of the dryer, and I have never added any of those anti-static sheets or anything else to it. Before I had a dryer, I was VERY aware of the weather and if it was a good drying day. Still use the clothesline more than the dryer. We always had lots of wooden drying racks, still do, and I remember the one my dad made that you lowered from the ceiling. My mother had a wringer, and then I remember her upgrading to a washer that had a spinner compartment on one side, so you had to move the laundry over to do that.
    Mondays were wash days for my mum, and Tuesdays were ironing days. I have a mental picture of her having the ironing board set up on the back lawn, back in England. You've brought back lots of memories with this post:)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh ya, that is one wonderful smell.......Love the picture of you ironing, to cute, nice old farmhouse kitchen too.....Blessings Francine.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I sure can!!! There is no smell as fresh as sheets dried in the sun!!! Lots of work that's for sure!!!! A good memory.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Gas and electric clothes dryers are wonderful but I sure miss that fresh air smell from laundry hung outside. It's hard to tell when the sheets have been washed!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I can indeed, I don't iron anymore but remember that was my first official job as well, sprinkler can and plastic bag! Learned it by ironing first pillow cases and hankies. I still hang my clothes up to dry on the line and don't own a dryer, I think my clothes last longer that way too.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wash days were busy days on the farm. The wringer washer was in the porch and water had to be packed to it. The kitchen floor was filled with mounds of sorted laundry: whites were washed first and the dirtiest clothes (jeans and coveralls) were washed last. The water got pretty murky at the end. A large copper boiler was filled with piping-hot water for the final rinse. I remember the clothes on the line freezing in the winter, too. Nothing can compare to laundry dried in the sunshine or in a stiff breeze. The smell is heavenly!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Even though my mother had a washer and dryer, she still loved hanging laundry outside to dry -- and it WAS a delightful scent. Ironing was a chore I used to love! Really! I could spend an entire afternoon with the ironing. Now, disability trumps the task, and I must sit if I do any ironing. [sigh] Thanks for evoking these really sweet memories!
    Peace,
    Muff

    ReplyDelete
  16. When my dryer broke down a few months ago, I re-discovered my "solar dryer" in the yard and the wonderful smell that dryer sheets can't equal. Clothes have a few wrinkles in them, but so do I.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh yes, I do remember that smell. My mom had a wringer washing and two tubs for rinsing and all the clothes went out on the line. Sometimes I miss that but I can reach very high now with my shoulder damage so I just have to use the dryer. Occasionally I use the wooden dry rack and set it in the garage for the breeze to dry. Not quite the same. I don't iron anything now except maybe pressing a finished cross stitch project.

    Hugs,
    Sharon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really need to proofread my comments better. That should read "can't reach very high"

      Delete
  18. I can!!! I can indeed! I've sprinkled and ironed many a clothes back in the day. Today I go to great lengths to avoid the iron.

    Cute pic of your little self there sweetie!

    Have a blessed iron free kinda day!!! :o)

    ReplyDelete
  19. So the clothes smelled great and they were also much healthier as the sunlight did a number on any bad guys in or on the clothes. So very different fabrics today and we don't have to iron.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Not everything new and improved is better. But not having to iron sound like a plus to me...:)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I don't remember pant stretchers, but I sure could have used one.
    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I still love the smell of the outdoors on my sheets - but I haven't hung them out in years. I iron a few of my shirts, and occasionally some shorts or pants.
    I love the cute picture!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I had many of the same memories of doing laundry in the "old days".
    Now I use an iron and ironing board a lot whenever I sew.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Yes I can! And it smells nothing like the candles labeled "fresh laundry". I loved ironing as a little girl as well. It was a bonding time between me and my paternal grandmother, Grandma Barker. We would iron together and watch the Merv Griffin show.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie