Re: [Slovak-World] OT - Warshing cloze
- Thanks, Jan, for the memory prompts. I, too, have fond memories of my mother
washing clothes in the basement of a bungalow in Cicero, Illinois...and her
process followed yours quite closely, including using the bluing!
My mother would start by making a fire in the water heater furnace...as opposed
to the furnace that heated the house. She would get coal from the coal bin in
the basement. The coal bin was next to the "fruit cellar" a small enclosed room
with a door and tiny window. We kept homemade canned food there.
Most important, were our conversations. I'm sure telling her daughter about her
childhood in Cicero, Illinois and her career at Western Electric and her
courtship by Paul, were a lot more fun for my mother than concentrating on doing
the laundry. And I sat, entranced, on the basement stairs, listening to her
every word. We bonded. My siblings really didn't care for her stories, so
disappeared in case there might be work to be done...but I was fascinated by her
stories...and we bonded as I sat on the basement stairs and listened. More
stories were shared the next day when she ironed...everything...sheets, petina
covers, shirts, blouses, pajamas, etc. and I listened to her stories. My
siblings wondered how, after my mother died, I knew her favorite colors, the men
she dated before she married my father, her dreams for herself, and her dreams
for her children. I knew because I listened on laundry and ironing days!
Jan Lan wrote:
> At 08:31 PM 9/30/2003 -0400, you wrote:
> >Washing clothes? We had an old Maytag wringer washer with which I was
> >intirgued. To be specific, I was intrigued with the sound it made when it
> >was emptying. I cannot spell it out but, after all these years, I can still
> >remember that deep-throated sound - anyone, anyone remember this? Then, my
> Wash day was a big production. I helped with the wringer when it was hand
> powered. Once we switched to motor driven, I was seldom called on to
> help. As I recall, the wringer had a safety mechanism that would pop open
> the wringer (if it was working) when the clothes or hands were too thick to
> go through. I never offered to use my hand to test it. I don't remember
> the sound of the pump out but I do remember the rhythmic sound of the
> agitator and the slosh of the water as the clothes were washed. In fact it
> was kind of nice to be down there in the winter because it was warm and
> everything smelled clean and the sound was soothing.
> We had a low two burner gas fired stand in the basement that could hold a
> large oval tub. I don't remember why, but Mom used to boil certain clothes
> in the tub and remove them with a two foot wooden forked piece of
> wood. Right next to it were two large deep sinks where she did her rinsing
> and bluing I think. I'm not certain if one was used for starching or
> not. She did have a scrub board for certain items.
> When the washing fun was over, they were carried outside to the back yard
> to hang on the lines or in bad weather, some were hung in the basement and
> the rest were carried up three flights of stairs to the attic and
> hung. That fresh outdoor smell is great. My wife still hangs the sheets
> on the line to get that clean fresh smell. Another of my jobs was helping
> set up the large wooden frame curtain stretchers when curtains had to be
> washed and dried. I always managed to scrape or puncture myself on the
> needle like pins on the stretcher frame.
> Nostalgic but the wash, spin and dryer method will be around for a while to
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- Wow, this was truly roughing it.
In a message dated 10/1/03 9:11:14 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
> Laverne, You were truly a pioneer, but I lived in a cave on top of the[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> mountain, and when the snows got too deep, we made a toboggan and sledded
> all the way down. The problem was we never figured how to make that
> toboggan go back up hill. So, that is how summer homes (summer caves) came
> about. Once we went down, we stayed down. When the snows melted we went
> back up to our Summer home which was a cave on top of the mountain. If any
> bears took over our cave, we would have to dispatch him, because bears
> don't have any squatters rights. Of course, we used the bears hide for
> clothes and ate the meat. Those were the days! Oh, by the way, we didn't
> wash the hides, we wore them up to the point when they fell off of our
> bodies. Then I went hunting for a new fur coat.