MOMA'S LOVE AFFAIR WITH LAUNDRY

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
A humorous look back at my Mom's obssession with laundry.

Submitted: June 20, 2008

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Submitted: June 20, 2008

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MOMA’S LOVE AFFAIR WITH LAUNDRY
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Moma loved all aspects of laundry. The bleaching ,the scrubbing ,the bluing, starching and finally the ironing. If there is a Goddess of Laundry then Moma was her chief priestess. Her laundry room was well stocked with all manner of soaps, scrubbing boards and additives that rendered whites almost painful to behold and fabric conditioners to either starch them, soften them or make the iron glide smoothly over them. It was like an alchemists laboratory.
The room was dominated by a wringer washing machine…her favorite machine by far. My Dad in a burst of modern enthusiasm bought her an automatic washer and dryer set. Both sat next to the favorite, ungainly yet regal. The shiny newcomers sat by like perennial bench-warmers waiting their chance to get into the game. They pinch hitted once while my Father scoured the country side looking for a replacement for the old wringer machine that had finally gone to its’reward….not an easy task in this modern age. A gleaming , all stainless steel wringer washing machine was found and bought at great expense. Dad was out big bucks but Moma was ecstatic.
Monday was the “official” laundry day but Moma loved the process so that over the years it became a daily event. I remember, as a child, playing on the kitchen floor coloring or playing Jacks while my Mom happily ironed and listened to the romance serials on the radio. Just before she died at the age of nearly 93 she would still be ironing and listening to the radio only the programs changed. In winter it would be talk radio but as soon as baseball season started she would be following the Met’s games. Sometimes my Dad would get her to give up the radio in favor of some Opera on the stereo, but mostly it was her beloved baseball.
The only thing that would ruin my Mom’s laundry mood was rain. That meant she couldn’t hang the clothes out to dry on the clothes line. No matter how cold it got Mom would still hang out the clothes, all bundled up like Nanook of the North , the clothes stiffening almost as soon as they were pegged onto the line.
Mom ironed everything! Underwear and dish towels and dusting cloths all were rendered smooth and properly folded. I loved the smell of the newly ironed clothes, a nice clean ,homey smell. At one point she even managed to talk my Dad into buying her a mangler. This was an ironing contraption for the serious laundry addict. It had a huge pressing iron and a rolling surface and you got to sit down in front of this machine and watch it iron the sheets for you in a jiffy. Mom missed the hands on approach and the mangler was soon forgotten.
Neither my sister or myself inherited my Mom’s love affair with laundry. I personally would like to see my iron demoted to door stop and my sister has been known to neglect ironing for weeks letting the mountain of clothes build to mammoth proportions before finally having to deal with it or go naked.
When Mom died we all agreed that it was too bad we couldn’t install a laundry chute on her grave so that we could drop off our sheets and socks when we came to visit her at the cemetery. That would have been Mom’s idea of heaven!


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