Saturday, November 20, 2010

"Poor Folks That We Were"

I was standing over my chair folding laundry. Some of the laundry came from the dryer from the forgotten load of last week. I am forever forgetting that last load. I noticed hubby's shirts were wrinkled. DIL's comment on a questionarrie came to mind..Pet peeves..wrinkled clothes. I busted out laughing!

I then got to thinking about when I was a kid. Yes, we ran around in the wrinklest clothes you ever saw! There was teasing from fellow students, but I was yet to learn the solution to the problem. I'm not even sure we owned an iron. Anyway when I was a kid we went to the laundry mat. "Poor folks that we were" we had to go about this in a system. First there was the food stamps, you know the paper ones from way back. Momma would send each child into the store with one dollar, we had to get just one piece of penny candy (remember those) and bring back the change. The change then became the laundry money. Again, "Poor folks that we were" we didn't have a car. The solution to this problem was to always have a shopping cart from the local grocery store at the house. We would stuff as many clothes as we could (for our large family of 6) into pillowcases or lay out a sheet and fill it up and tie the ends together. Stuff all this into the shopping cart and push it about two miles to the laundry mat. Most of the time this was me pushing and demanding the rugrats (my three much smaller siblings) to hold hands, stay out of the road, stop running off, don't eat thaaaaat! Fun times (NOT)!

You must know though that this was a step up in our world. Going to the laundry mat was hitting the high times. It was a heck of a lot better than filling the bathtub up with soapy water dumping the laundry in and putting the smaller kids in to stomp on the clothes, repeat the process for rinsing, then bend over the tub and wringe everything out and hang it all out to dry. Chapped hands anyone! Especially hated when the freeze came overnight and your clothes were still on the line, frozen stiff! There was many a times when I would go to school in wet clothes. Sooo yeah, going to the laundry mat was a huge step up. Except for the embarrassment factor.

Back to the laundry mat...We get there. The process of doing laundry took hours, the kids would get bored, fuss, cry, tantums were common. Finally the laundry in the dryers come to a stop. Hopefully they are done, cuase money was scarce and I had to stuff as much as I could in them. Sometimes I even had to bring them home still damp. Well with the kids and the massive amounts of laundry and the time (and my patience) running out, I very rarely folded anything (I think I remember folding them three times). I would just stuff them back into the pillowcases, load everything up and we would walk the two miles back.

Now the reason we never had unwrinkled clothes is because those pillowcases full of clothes rarely ever got folded. Yeah, dad bellowed all the time for me to fold them, but seriously after the excursion I went through, that was the last thing I wanted to do. I did my duty even though I hated every minute of it, but I was done! Let someone else do it! (Gawd I was an awful child)

It's funny now that I think about it, in just a few short years later..Wrinkled clothes where in fashion! LOL! You know the long skirts that you purposely twisted to get that broomstick look. I was ahead of my time! LMAO!

Now I do fold my clothes fresh from the dryer, except for that forever forgotten last load. Thanks DIL for the laugh and memory!



Lucy said... [Reply to comment]

I almost have forgotten whaT A IRON IS. I worked for a dry cleaners for 7 years and however the clothes come out of the dryer that is the way theym stay.

SuziCate said... [Reply to comment]

I'm famous for forgetting that last load, too! And I hate ironing!

Carol said... [Reply to comment]

Sometimes a load will tumble several times in the dryer before I manage to get it out not-too-wrinkled. And if it says "permanent press" it doesn't need ironing.

Jimmy said... [Reply to comment]

Hours at the Laundry Mat, I do not miss those days and the forgotten load of laundry I have seen started over with a damp rag to remove the wrinkles, Cindy says this is actually a form of ironing :)

purplume said... [Reply to comment]

I am often surprised when I open the dryer and find clothes there. I like it better when I remembered to turn on the dryer and they are dry.
That is one heck of a job to walk two miles to the laundromat. Wow, we had a washer. I loved hanging clothes on the line. There was something zen about it. I remember frozen clothes and I wasn't fond of bird poop on them.
I have not been able to figure out why my husband never looks wrinkled when he does laundry and I fuss with the clothes and they are still wrinkled. XD

Angelia Sims Hardy said... [Reply to comment]

Spent many a times at the laundry mat when I was a single mom with Sydney and our washer broke. I know exactly what you mean. Except GEE, a two mile walk? With little kids? No wonder you didn't fold them!! Ha.

I always fold right out of the dryer too. My least favorite load is the one with socks! :-)

Dreamfarm Girl said... [Reply to comment]

And I thought hard times were going to the laundry mat in a car instead of having a washer-dryer at home. Well, I do have one at home now, but I still kinda of prefer to hang them on the clothes line. But I would hate washing them by hand!

Spot said... [Reply to comment]

When I was a small child I thought the laundromat was an adventure! When we were a young couple the weekend trip to the laundromat was still fun. When I had kids...the fun just got sucked right out. Lol. But you, poor girl, never got to view it as fun!

Thank goodness for having my own washer and dryer. I don't mind folding at all...but I'm horrible about putting them away. Folded in the basket is just as good, right?

And no matter how hard I try, I always seem to iron more wrinkles in than I get out.


Tinkerschnitzel said... [Reply to comment]

I do not miss those days. I fully remember having frozen jeans straight off the line in the winter. We would lay them across the heater and hope we didn't burn anything. I also remember stomping clothes in the bathtub. Is it sad that I'm only 29? I feel like I lived through the 30s! lol And I would not have folded clothes if I had to drag my brother and sister along for the ride.