Nostalgia…through the wringer

Laundry (Small) Wash day  I just put a load of laundry in to my 21st century machine that wants to know my every wish for the perfect wash.  What temperature do I want? hot? cold? energy saver? Or perhaps cool?  One rinse or two? How long do I want to wash my semi-dirty clothes?  Do I want to wash them gently or harshly?

As I loaded my machine, one sweater would not sink into the energy-saving, cool, one rinse, water and for a second I looked around my (oh so very pleasant), laundry room for my ‘stick’.  Do you remember the stick your mother used to push down the clothes into the wringer washing machine?  Made of wood and  squeaky clean the stick was used only for that purpose;  pushing down clothes into the water and Tide detergent. I think ours was the old handle from a toilet plunger.  And, in the case of my mother, hell would rain down if you borrowed that stick for any other purpose.

No cozy laundry room, either, in those days.  A drafty outside porch or you rolled your wringer machine out into the yard. That was handy because then you were close to the clothes line.  No dryers in those days! Even though the washing machine was electric, a hose ran from a faucet or you carriednostalgia, writing, blog, blogging, washing machines,d the water, from the house, to fill it.

Right through childhood, the teen years, and my first few years of marriage I washed clothes in a wringer washing machine.  When I was newly married, with not much money for luxuries, I was tickled to have one.  And I realized, in writing this, that I miss my ‘stick’; I miss the hot clean smell of the water and soap; To this day, I miss the ‘clean laundry’ smell of the clothes as you guided them through the wringer and into the laundry basket. I remember grabbing scalding hot clothes out of the water (no spin cycle) because hot water equaled cleaner clothes according to my mother’s law.  And the real risk of your clothes getting too close to the wringer’s edge, where the gears were, and having your nice white things come out the other end with a greasy smear streaked across them!

I guess, when my load of laundry is done and ready to be put into the dryer, I’ll bury my nose in the damp cloth for a second………but it just won’t be the same!
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One thought on “Nostalgia…through the wringer”

  1. Trish, my grandmother lived again as I read your latest. Our machine was in the basement where there was a “hot plate”. There was always enough boiling water to add to the machine. Yes and a very bleached white stick to move the clothes to the laundry tub where they were rinsed. Amen

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