Actually, there are some things I don't mind ironing -- church linens, in particular. There is something very satisfying about laundering and ironing the linens used in our communion services. However, that is about the only exception to my long-standing aversion to ironing. Not that I haven't done my share of ironing in my life; it's just that I find the act of ironing to be a most distressing activity -- and there's a reason.
If you read my first post, you know that I am a 73 yr. old woman. Many a tub, line or dryer-full of laundry has passed through my hands in the last 60+ years (Mama trusted me with doing the family washing from the time I was 9 or 10). Until I was a teenager, however, Mama always did the family ironing.
Keep in mind, when I was a kid, there were NO wash and wear, NO polyester, NO permanent press-tumble-dry-low types of material in our clothing. Just about everything was cotton; stiff, wrinkly, durable cotton. What wasn't cotton was linen or that new-fangled rayon (which could be carefully hand-washed) or wool, which was not washed. However, about the only wool clothing in our family were some blankets, our winter coats and Daddy's suits, and I suppose those went to a dry cleaning establishment.
Oh, lest I forget -- how could I? -- there were no automatic washing machines or gas or electric clothes dryers, either. Our laundering was done in a General Electric wringer washer in the following manner:
1. gather and sort the clothes (white, light, dark, work clothes);
2. fill the washing machine with hot water (getting the hot water is another story entirely!), and the three #2 galvanized rinsing tubs with cool water;
3. grate the P & G bar soap into the machine tub, and let it agitate until it made suds (this was before Tide and the like);
4. add clothes, starting with whites, of course (each pile of clothes was washed separately in the same way) and agitate;
5. put clothes through the wringer from the washing machine into the first rinse water, pummel up and down with scrawny hands and arms-- which by the time the laundry was done were more wrinkled than the clothes;
6. swing the wringer around, wring into the second rinse tub, pummel, swing the wringer, wring into the Mrs. Stewart's Bluing rinse, pummel again, swing the wringer, and wring for the last time);
7. put into a basket and carry to the clothes line (which had to be wiped down, first);
8. hang clothes in a specific order with clothes pins, let dry, take down, fold into a basket and bring into the house.
Oh, I forgot a step -- some clothes had to be STARCHED, too! Learning which items got the Faultless Starch was an early lesson: only Daddy's shirts, and some of our blouses, skirts or dresses. I made a few misteps before learning just what did NOT get starched!
Gosh, I've just reviewed what I've written and you'd think this post should be about why I don't like to wash clothes, but I love to do laundry (thank goodness it's easier these days), but don't like to iron.
I think I'll save the ironing story for Part Two! I'm worn out just remembering all this stuff.