Dedicated to my mom who taught me more than how to do laundry. This was my second published work, published in Good Old Days Magazine in May 2004.
Bright and early every Monday, Mom
and I went to the basement. As I stood by her side she taught me the proper way
to sort clothes- whites, towels, colors, work pants and jeans. We pulled the
old wringer washer from the corner to
the stationary tubs. She filled it with scalding hot water and turned the
machine on to start it agitating. After she added whatever soap was on sale at
the time, she always added a bar of Fels Naphtha that she
let me grate on an
old grater. The long curls of soap slid off the grater into the water. I loved
I helped by handing my mom clothespins and the clothes, saving her from bending over. She
crease. As soon as the clothes were dry, we removed them to make room for new ones. Most days the last load of laundry was on the line by . It usually didn't take them long to dry. We snapped them hard when we removed them to get rid of excess wrinkles and folded them immediately, then Mom sorted them onto piles for each of us kids to put away. The clothes that needed ironed were sometimes taken off the line damp or sprinkled with water, rolled into a ball, and stored in a plastic bag. Tuesday was ironing day.