Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Laundry Aerobics, and Other Interesting Subjects

Laundry Aerobics?  My dear Grandma's had one day each and every week when they did the laundry.  It was an odious chore.  They had to wash the clothing, mostly by hand.  Some used a washboard.  You would use this board with rows of tin by scrubbing the clothing up and down.  It's not very surprising that clothes wore out quite quickly.  If these ladies of the 19th century were fortunate, they had a wringer.  This apparatus pulled clothing through two rolling cylinders.  Unfortunately, it was very easy to wind up with your finger, hand, or even arm being pulled through that wondrous wringer.

My dear Mama was the leader of our church women's group.  That is the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints.  It's the oldest continuing women's group in America.  She often received frantic calls for help.

This particular day the call was frantic because one of the ladies in our group had her entire arm pulled through the wringer up to her elbow.  She and her children could not get the machine to release her arm.  There was a very real danger because the pressure of the wringer was creating a very effective tourniquet.  The longer her arm was stuck the greater the chance that they would have to amputate.

I often wondered how my Mama seemed to be so calm and reassuring in crisis.  Many times in her life doctor's told her that she should be a nurse.  As a child she had held her sister so that the doctor could investigate a fractured skull.  Her Mother could not do this task, so my Mama did what had to be done.

Somehow she managed to release that arm from that wringer.  Then she took the lady to the doctor.  Her arm was badly bruised, and the soft tissue in the arm was damaged.  On the other hand the damage was something that time would heal.

Now back to laundry aerobics.  We live in a lovely home with two sets of stairs.  They are not long stairs, but there is two flights of them between our bedrooms and the laundry room.  I have often wished for a laundry chute that simply dumped the clothing into the basement room.

I live with my two beautiful, adult, daughters.  My Mother ADORED pretty clothing.  I also ADORE pretty clothing.  My Mother taught me to be a savvy shopper.  I almost never pay full price for anything!  With my love of clothes, I happen to have, well maybe, possibly, a LARGE amount of clothing.  My girls have inherited that love.  So we have LOTS of laundry!

I toss it all down one flight of stairs, and then push it down the other flight.  (It also cleans the stairs as it passes by them)!  I usually have music playing while I perform this task.  Dancing and singing makes the "Bead on a string with no knot on the end," type of chore almost enjoyable.

I do enjoy the process of washing, and drying clothing, courtesy of my wondrous modern machines.  I enjoy folding, but I do NOT enjoy putting the clothing away.

I made a delightful deal with our daughters when we moved in together.  I offered to do the laundry.  In return the girls shop and prepare the meals for us to eat.  It's a great deal for me.  I don't really love cooking, both of our girls do...especially our oldest girl.  I hear her humming, or singing along to a song while she chops, cooks, and plates our dinner.  Her love of cooking did NOT come from me!

What tasks do you enjoy?  One of my friends LOVED ironing.  I used to love ironing Nyle's shirts.  I put lots of spray starch in them.  My friend used a "spritzer," when she ironed.  The spritzer was made for ironing.  As she pressed her clothing the scent of lavender was released by the heat.  In this method she not only got clothes pressed, she had an aromatherapy session.

Does a "Spoonful of Sugar, Help the Medicine Go Down," for you?  Whoever wrote that song was quite brilliant.  I find that finding ways to make everyday tasks, things that become mindless, repetitive, tedious chores, bearable IS to symbolically add that spoonful of sugar!  Music is my main spoonful.  Another of my spoonfuls is communication with loved ones.  Washing the dishes (which is the household duty that I loathe) is almost doable as I chat on the phone.  If I can't reach anyone to chat with, I sing and dance.

If you see a red, spiky haired lady dancing about while she washes dishes or does laundry, do not be unduly alarmed.  It's just me, growing old lady, finding a spoonful of sugar to make my medicine go down better!

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