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8/17/10

Wash day....

Growing up on well water, we had to watch how much water was used each day. I remember taking baths in just an inch or two of water on wash day. Mom had to prepare the night before by filling the galvanized tub with water so she could rinse the clothes. She'd get up early the next day and sort the laundry while the old Maytag wringer washer was filling with suds. Detergent would vary. We'd use Tide, Fab, Oxydol, whatever had the special in them like wash towels (or as we called them, wash rags) or hand towels. As the loads would wash, she run them through the wringer to get the suds out as much as she could then put them in the rinse tub to slosh out more suds and run them through the wringer again. It's not like taking one load from washer to dryer. Each individual piece of laundry would go through the wringer...twice! With a family of 6, this was a lot of clothes and linens. Then she would get a basket full from each load and carry them outside to the clothesline and hang them up to dry.
Once the clothes would dry, she would bring them in to fold them. Me and Rachel had to help. I remember when Andy was a baby in cloth diapers and we would sit there and fold diaper after diaper. Once we folded what could be folded, Mom would sprinkle the rest with water from one those little sprinkler bottles and wrap them up in a tablecloth and place them on a shelf in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, she would sit the iron and ironing board up in the living room and iron while we were glued to the Dick Van Dyke Show, Pete & Gladys, or Mr. Ed. I can remember her using Niagara spray starch on some of the dress clothes.
What for me is a fond memory was for my Mother almost a three day project. But I never ever heard her complain. Not once did she fret about her lot in life. It was her life. It was what she did. Being a mother was the most important job and she was one of the best at what she did.
I look back on everything she did and I wonder how she ever kept her sanity. We complain if the dishwasher goes on the fritz or the dryer hose needs replaced. I wonder how we would ever make it if we had to go back to those days.

4 comments:

Deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel said...

There is no way we could ever make it living like that. One thing I know is that you and I will never be the woman our mother has always been!! She is priceless, and I'm sure she has a great Mother reward waiting for her in heaven. I love those pictures. They really bring back the memories!

Anonymous said...

Ho! what a beautiful antiques I do remember how wringer washer was a thank you you are good.
Clothes can wrap around the wringer and be torn,Its you're already happened ?
Ane B.

Bee's Place said...

Deb - we have so many things from our childhood that are alike. Rachel - You are so right about Mom. I could never do all the things she did. Ane - Welcome to my blog! Thanks for your comment. Hope you visit every day. You are so right about the clothes sometimes getting torn. I remember times when things would get wrapped too tight and Mom would have to take the wringer apart to get them out.