Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thursday's Thoughts




Good evening to ya'll. A little late updating today for my sweet husband has been using it for income tax and that is very important. Come on in and have a coke with me while I do some remembering.

I got a great gift a couple of weeks ago for which I had been pleading for 15 years. That is how long we have been in this house, so it took a while. All I was asking for was a clothes line. Now to you that may not be important, but I like to hang out some of my clothes and especially I like to hang out linens. They smell so good and fresh when you take them in. After pleading and begging, we finally got one.

Now this clothes line is in no way what I had in mind, but it works fine. Unlike some homes, it is not the fence or the shrubbery, or the line between 2 trees or posts, it is a modern, up-t0-date, new fangled, clothes line. It has a rather spacey or futuristic look with 1 pole and an upside down umbrella on top without the cloth on it. There are strings strung between the spines making a clothes hanging thingey. It even turns around so I can stand in one spot and hang up the clothes. We are up-town and modern with a space station clothes line. It works, so don't knock it!

Hanging out the clothes when I was growing up was quite a chore, for we had to hang EVERYTHING for 5 people on a 3 line clothes line in the back yard. This meant washing, rinsing, hanging, and taking them in was an all-day job. We started early on Monday morning ,washing in a wringer type washing machine, running them through the rollers, carrying them out to the line and hanging them up.

Now mind you, there were special instructions for each type of clothing and linen. The sheets had to be folded long way 1 time and hung neatly over the wire. Pillowcases were hung by the bottom seams and straight, not crooked, and shirts were hung upside down by the 2 side seams. You hung the panties and shorts by the waist and the skirts by the waist. Mine and mama's dresses were hung from the shoulders and as straight as possible.

The big thing was daddy and the boy's pants - khakis for daddy and blue jeans for the boys. Mama would make up Argo liquid starch and we dipped the pants and daddy's shirts in the slimy stuff before hanging. The pants had to be put on pants stretchers. You probably don't even know what I am talking about, but they were wire racks you inserted into each pant's leg and stretched them to keep them from wrinkling too badly. It looked like a board had been inserted in the legs. I have put in a link for you, for low and behold you can still buy them.

When you took them off the line, you pushed a little thingey and the stretchers would magically become smaller and you pulled them out of the pants and ta dah, the pants legs were almost wrinkle free. Now, don't get excited for you still had to iron them which was Tuesday's job.

It was usually our job to take down the clothes and bring them in the house. My brothers were rather haphazard about this and didn't fold as they took off the line which irritated me to no end. They also refused to take down mine and mama's underwear but if they did they would use 2 fingers to touch them as if they were contaminated with some dreaded disease. It just tickled me to death to watch them. Of course, they were not amused - the little rascals.

Before you could iron any item which had been starched, you had to sprinkle them with water. We had a shower head looking thing with cork around the bottom to seal it, stuck in a coke bottle to sprinkle clothes with. You shook the bottle upside down to sprinkle water on the clothes, then neatly rolled them up and put them in a big pillow case or plastic bag so they would stay damp for ironing.

Out came the ironing board and iron, and you began the process. Of course you also had to iron the pillowcases, handkerchiefs and daddy's boxer shorts - they were cotton and he didn't like wrinkles. These were the items I learned how to iron on. I didn't mind the pillowcases and handkerchiefs, but I hated the shorts. They were a pain in the behind, no pun intended.

Then came the starched things. This was hard work and there is a system for each item. For example, on shirts we ironed the wrong side of each front side, yoke was next, then the wrong side of collar, right side of collar, sleeves, then shirt. If this is confusing, come on out and I will demonstrate for you for I still do it this way.

If the day ended and there were still clothes which were sprinkled, you put them in the freezer or the refrigerator so they would not sour. Often there were bags of sprinkled clothes in one of these place to iron as soon as you had time. As you can see, clothes dryers were a dream come true, but I was grown and married before we had one.

The neatest trick mama taught me about ironing, was doing it with your seat. As she folded towels, washcloths, dishrags and diapers, she would stack them and sit on them. It was amazing how well this worked and believe you me, I did the same thing when I had my own home. A little seat warmth can take our wrinkles, try it.

Now some say those were the good old days, but frankly, I like my washer and dryer and so did mama. I do like to hang them out if it is not too cold, or too hot or my back hurts, for they sure do smell good and the sun can make them pretty and white.

So, if you would like, come on over and I will let you use my futuristic, spacey clothes line.

Nuff said,

The Georgia Peach

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