Sunday, October 9, 2011

Found - New Ideas

Because of the other blog I’m writing, and because my students are getting into the swing of blogging and showing ‘who’ they are and what they believe is important and being creative about it, I have begun to gather ideas for my blog from them.  Very useful!  One of my blogging students just shared a link to help get writing started called  You need to sign up; they give you a word and one minute to write about it.  You can share your writing and if you do, you may see what others have written.  It’s fun, and I am using my first WORD to write my post today.  That word was “iron” and I feel a bit old because when I peeked at the other writing, not one person wrote about this kind of iron. 
I remember the last time it was important for me to iron shirts that made a difference and that was in my early marriage when my husband needed five white shirts for each day of the workweek.  These were stiff, Oxford cloth, and 100% cotton shirts, very wrinkled!  I dutifully sprinkled, rolled, and, because my mother told me to, put them into the refrigerator for a short while to make the ironing easier.  As I remember, too, there was a method to ironing these shirts.  Start with the collar; go to the cuffs, then the sleeves, and on to the front and finally the back of the shirt.  Move quickly, be sure not to hold the iron down too long to prevent scorching (hard to wash out), and hang up quickly.  Because I wasn’t working at the beginning of our marriage, early in the year, we had very little money, so my husband worked two jobs.  He was a weekend, overnight DJ at the local college radio station.  Not only did I have to learn to stay overnight by myself, which I had never done, we had rented a house whose backyard was adjacent to a cemetery.  Friday and Saturday nights weren’t very social for us.  My husband worked and I did what I could to stay awake as long as I could because I was scared.  I remember ironing more than those shirts just to pass the time.  I listened to records and ironed.  Possibly by 3 or 4 in the morning I was so tired I went to bed, and, exhausted, slept until my DJ overnight husband came home. 
The next year I started teaching and my husband was able to quit the DJ work.  We had more money, so I was able to pay a woman to iron the shirts.  I remember that I paid her 25 cents a shirt.  It was a big deal to me and I was grateful, but I wonder now how she managed, even then when everything was so much cheaper than today. 
The picture of course is a pair of irons from a great grandmother.  I really didn’t have them in my early ironing days.  Maybe if I had, they would have reminded me to be more grateful to have something that plugged in and heated up all by itself. 
And in a broader sense, isn’t it absolutely amazing that women have done and still do all the tasks they take responsibility for?    How many verbs can you think of?    My list is ironing, baking, washing, vacuuming, sweeping, sewing, spinning, weaving, knitting, nursing, caring, bill-paying, computing, working, child-rearing, animal raising, gardening, canning, cooking, driving, coaching, and on.  And finally, these verbs do not include others that describe tasks at a paying job. 
I’m grateful for this  It took me to a part of my life I hadn’t thought about in a long time.  Aside from the shirts and the overnight loneliness, it was a special time, my first year of marriage.


  1. I'm going to have to check out this site--might be useful for my kids too!

    As for iron--ugh. I was taught to iron the same way (although I did have an electric one) Both of my grandmas and my mom taught me the same thing sprinkle, roll refrigerate. The vegetable drawer always seemed to have laundry in it. Once I passed ironing handkerchiefs and t-shirts (can't believe my mom ironed t-shirts!) I was moved up to "real" clothes.

  2. I used a long time ago, but forgot about it. Might try that again.
    Ah, yes, we ironed tablecloths and pillowcases, too. Then came the real clothes after you could be trusted not to burn or crease where you shouldn't crease.
    And do you remember the wringer washers?
    I enjoyed the blast from the past.

  3. I'll have to check out that website, it sounds fun. I loved the blast from the past too. I remember my mom was so happy when dad got some permanent press shirts! And I love the photo of the old irons too.


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