Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Monday, November 5, 2012

Our Iron Lady

Mom. All pressed and ready to go.

My mom was an iron-er.
A Demon iron-er.
She ironed everything.
Shirts. Pants. Dresses. Shorts. T-shirts. Socks. Pillowcases. Handkerchiefs. Sheets. Pajamas.
I kid you not.
Everything.
And when I say ‘she’, I mean her girls.
From the age of eight, I had my own little ironing pile.
Admittedly, it was the more easily ironed items. Pillow cases, handkerchiefs, and  . . . flat stuff.
But it was all mine.
No other hands could – or would - touch it.
Ever.
In fact, it would still be there waiting for me, even if I’d been hiding in the barn all day.
Ahem . . .
Mom was very particular about her ironing.
Everything had to be done just so.
I was fortunate in that my items left very little scope for mistakes.
My sister wasn’t nearly so lucky.
I can still see my mom preparing things to iron.
She would sprinkle everything with water, via a spritzer attachment atop a seven-up bottle.
Incidentally, we thought that said spritzer would be great fun in a water fight.
It wasn’t.
Moving on . . .
Then she would carefully roll the sprinkled items into a tight bundle and put them into a plastic bag.
Then put the plastic bag into the fridge.
I know.
I thought it was weird, too.
She said something about ‘keeping things moist’.
Who listened.
One by one, the items were pulled from the bag and ironed.
Then hung.
Then put away.
There was a definite process.
And one didn’t dare skip any of the steps.
Because Mom always knew.
Even if one folded up the handkerchiefs into tiny, tiny little squares.
Tiny.
Those gimlet eyes saw through everything.
Sigh.
Though most everything these days is permanent press, I still iron.
Sometimes.
Okay, I admit it, the bottom of my ironing basket has never actually been seen.
There is a dress down there in a size three!
It’s like an archeological dig.
I miss my Mom.

19 comments:

  1. Mom had the same spritzer I'll bet....same procedure; sprinkle, roll, refidgerate, iron. I haven't ironed a darn thing in years but the hubs does, he he he. Thank goodness for steam irons eh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you hire him out? His DNA might be worth something, too . . .

      Delete
  2. Ironing? I remember the wringer washer, then to the clothesline, then the ironing board and the soda-pop bottle with the sprinkler attachment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hid when mom was using the wringer washer. I was always afraid that somehow I would get caught in it and squished flat.

      Delete
  3. I was raised by an ironer as well.

    And I now carry that tradition forward. :-) Even my son is an ironer.

    Pearl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm proud of you! What's your address? I'm sending you my ironing basket!

      Delete
  4. I am an odd person as I love to iron... but only if the ironing board is set up... otherwise it never gets done... lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, I'm sending you the rest of the stuff I didn't send to Pearl . . .

      Delete
  5. My grandma was the same way! And thankfully she passed on some of that to me.....or I don't think much ironing would get done in this household. HA HA..
    However, I will admit I am a bit like your mom when it comes to piles. My boys all had their piles. My one return missionary boy, I've noticed, since returning, has become a PRO at ironing. Does my heart good. But I do count my blessings for all those modern materials out there now that require little or no ironing. Like you....I have this constant pile of clothes to iron and I never seem to get to the bottom of it. ; )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love to see the next generation ironing! I wish they would come to my house . . .

      Delete
  6. After breaking free from Ironing World as a young adult, I'm an ecstatic ironing-shortcut-taker and rule breaker!! And it didn't seem to make bad things happen as a result!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. My ironing now consists of stuffing things back into the drier for a short spin. Than hanging them up. Ta-Da!

      Delete
  7. I remember my mum doing the spritz, roll up thing, but then it was straight into the ironing, no refrigeration. And she only ironed clothes, pillowcases and tablecloths.
    I gave up ironing when the last of the kids left school, but recently had to go out and buy an ironing board when we got a new style in shirts for work. Pfft!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish your mom would have talked to my mom.
      Ugh! Someone needs to talk to the folks at your work. Maybe bring them into the 21st century . . . :)

      Delete
  8. Diane, your mom reminds me of my nana. The woman ironed everything--all the way from handkerchiefs to the bedsheets! Me? I don't iron a thing. If an item is wrinkled, I spray with "Wrinkle free" spray or I throw it in the dryer for a few minutes. I have been known to iron the men's dress shirts, but only when they're wearing it for a special occasion. ha! My nana would not be pleased. The comment about the size three clothes items in the bottom of your basket made me laugh. ha!:)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love to iron and I'm convinced that I purchase 100% cotton in order just to iron. Now that I'm back from Uganda, you should see my pile....and it makes me happy because I know that I can put on a great movie and iron...one day. Thanks for linking up with us at No Ordinary Blog Hop. Every blessing, Kelly

    ReplyDelete

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