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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

REMEMBERING WASHDAY

 

For those who remember the old wringer washers, I would like to hear your memories of washday.

My mother worked weekdays so Saturday had to be our washday.
The washer was rolled into the kitchen and filled with hot water. Mom set two chairs close by with washtubs filled with cold rinse water.

The dirty clothes were sorted into piles on the floor. Whites, coloreds, jeans, sheets, etc. The first load washed was the whites. Then she would turn on the agitator and let it run for five or so minutes. Then came the terrifying job of putting the washed clothes through the hard rubber wringer, careful not to get our fingers too close.

The clothes went through two rinses then were hung out on the clothes line to dry.

I remember sitting in the living room of our little house, reading comic books on the cold winter days. The house was steamed up from the washer, and the windows were covered with condensation. The smell was not pleasant. Imagine all the dirty clothes, the homemade lyesoap,the smell of hot oil from the motor, and the pot of brown beans with hamhocks bubbling on the back of the wood cookstove, all mixed together.

Now here's the part of my story that may make you raise your eyebrows.
Our Washing machine talked.

After hours of listening to the drone of the motor, a child's imagination went to work.
My sister thought our machine was saying, "ringworm-ringworm-ringworm,"

Did your washer talk too? What did it say?
Come-on, speak up.
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