Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ironing Then and Now

Hey,  Y'all,
Well, I was pressing cloth for the quilt this morning about 6:30 a.m. and got to thinking about when we moved to the farm in 1947 when I was fourteen years old and my sister was twenty-two. We were the only two girls in the family, and since my mom worked in Knoxville and came out to the farm only on weekends, the ironing and other housework fell to us. 

First, I got to thinking about the ironing board we had. Which led to thinking about the chairs we used. We had cane bottomed chairs, upon which the ironing board had to be placed because it was just a board, period. It was fashioned from some kind of heavy wood by Bernard Bell, the father of some of my cousins, many years earlier. Of course, it was covered by heavy cloth of some kind and padded. 

We  ironed either in the kitchen or in the living room, due to having to heat the irons on the  Kitchen cook stove or the warm morning heater that was in the living room. Right about now, you may be saying "Heat the irons???" Yes, they were the kind that you had to have at least two and usually three of. The handle was detachable and all the flat irons were placed on heat and used till they were no longer hot enough. The handle was used to pick up the iron and use it. 

They were not easy to use, by any means. We had no electricity when we moved to the farm. I studied by lamp light at night. We had no inside water or plumbing. We scrubbed clothes on the washboard, and wrung them out by hand, and hung them on the lines. I thought about all this as I sat at the ironing board, filled the iron with water to make it iron smoothly, and placed the iron on the rest at the right end of my folding ironing board. What a life!

Well, I gotta go fix my breakfast and get ready to do stuff. I did my laundry yesterday in an automatic washer, dried it in an automatic dryer and folded it while I watched television. What a life, indeed!

This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Much love to each of you, my friends and family. A belated Happy Birthday to my Taiwanese granddaughter (by choice) Jennifer Chang. Bye for now. More later.


Angela Felsted said...

You make my chores sound so much more appealing.

Cathy said...

Ruby, you are an absolute treasure. I love your stories. Today you sure made me appreciate all the "chores" I have to do in a whole different way. Enjoy your day!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Irons have changed over the years even since I got married to the ones that are on sale now.
Good luck with your quilt.

Take care.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I'll bet you don't do nearly as much ironing these days. We used to iron just about everything ... even the bedclothes and my father's underwear socks! The only thing I miss about those days is the smell of the starch mixture. I kinda liked sprinkling the clothes with the soda bottle with that little holed gizmo on it, too. But I do believe permanent press is a whole lot better!

Petra said...

What a life. We have it made and still complain. I so appreciate you putting things into a gratitude perspective for us. What a life indeed! Blessings!