October 27, 2009

Airing Out Our Dirty Laundry

Oh, how spoiled I am! The past couple weeks, our washing machine has been out of order. Searching for the replacement part was an adventure in itself, but that's a whole new story. Ken finally gave up and rigged the contraption in some sort of homemade, but very functional, fashion. He's so handy that way!

In the meantime, I became well-acquainted with handwashing. I thought many times of my technology-resistant Granny who, in my childhood (it wasn't THAT long ago, okay?!) had a big metal tub wherein she washed her clothes, using a cool scrub board. It was the just like the scrub board our pastor played on Sunday mornings with a thimble, if I remember correctly. We have lye soap in bars here because lots of people (most) wash by hand, but you know how sensitive my girls' skin can be. So lye didn't make the cut. I ended up using the powder (no liquid Tide here, ladies) to make a soapy mix in a big bucket, then rubbing the clothes together with my hands or a brush, if very dirty. Nothing really got very clean.

Granny's other advantage was that she had this thingy that looked like two metal papertowel cores stuck together. The wet clothes were placed at the meeting of the two metal cylinders. Then she'd hand crank those cylinders while the clothes went through them, wringing out the water. See how dangerous that wringer looks below? I had this horrible fear as a child that I'd end up feeding my FINGERS through as I fed the clothes, so I didn't help Granny often. I imagined my fingers popping off or being forever flattened....
Well, these last few weeks, I did the wringing out without the aid of the scary papertowel thingies, which was much less intimidating but not very efficient. And I never could get all the soap rinsed out. So when the (really hot) sun baked the clothes dry, they had a soapy, gritty feel. Needless to say, a shout of joy rang out from the household inhabitants when Ken announced he'd fixed our good ole' washer!

(PS-This is NOT my Granny, but she was a knockout in her day, too!)


  1. My cousin was helping me wash clothes on one of thoe old-timey washing machines. She put the clothes through the wringer because she thought it looked like fun, until she got her hand rung through the wringer. I couldn't pop the wringers loose to free her fingers, so the only thing I could do is reverse the rollers and roll her hand back through...she got flattened twice. Needless to say, I had much more respect for that "wringer thingy"! Thank God for newer technology...even Granny was willing to turn to new tech stuff so she could throw the wringer out! Glad your handyman husband was able to fix yours...he's definitely a keeper!


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