Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I LOVE Ironing!

I was born in the 1950’s so I remember ironing. I think I might have been about six years old when my grandmother taught me to iron handkerchiefs and pillow cases. As I matured in my ironing skills my chore was to iron my dad’s shirts.

During the 50’s most of our garments were 100% cotton, which all required ironing (if you wanted to look presentable.) I do remember life before clothing care was revolutionized by steam irons, polyester blends and clothes dryers. Most garments were 100% cotton and they required ironing, especially if they were dried on a clothesline, as nearly all clothing was. Some things were labeled “wash and wear” and were made from a new cotton-acrylic blend and there were a few devices that had been invented to help with the wrinkle problem, but...there were no steam irons.
Cotton! Lovely, lovely cotton!
I love nothing better than fresh wash that has been dried in the sun! The smell and feel...there is nothing like it. I remember when it came time to iron all the clothes had to be sprinkled. My mother had a metal stopper with holes in it like a salt shaker top. She filled a large glass coke bottle with water, put the stopper on top, and sprinkled water over the clothes that needed ironing. Then she rolled up each garment so the dampness would diffuse and she put them into the ice box until it was time to iron. (We didn't call it a refrigerator when I was young - even though it was no longer an ice box) The coolness delayed the mildew and sour odors that could develop if clothing wasn't ironed the same day that it was sprinkled. If ironing was to take place immediately the clothes were stacked in the laundry basket to sit for a little while before ironing. I guess they hadn't invented spray bottles yet, but I remember my grandmother's also had the same "sprinkle bottles". I've seen a few pretty clever ceramic sprinkle bottles on eBay (I guess they were used by "fancier" people) However, the sprinkle top my mom had for a coke bottle could be purchased at any dime store. They had a cork base to fit the coke bottle's opening tightly. (These are also offered on eBay for about $1.00.) I guess if you were a fancier person, you could buy the whimsical ceramic ones...but we only had the dime store type and the glass coke bottle.
My mom would have to set up the large ironing board in the kitchen so I could be near the ice box or so the laundry basket could be set on the kitchen table. I remember early on having to stand on a chair to reach the ironing board.
I now own a large ironing board that I set up in the den for my "ironing binges". I pick a good movie to watch, have all my wash "sprinkled"...then I'm all set to iron. Nothing is more satisfying than to see a damp pile of clothes become freshly ironed/starched pieces all hanging in a row. I know, I know...perhaps a visit to a therapist would help me over come this illness...but secretly I LOVE to IRON and don't really want to recover!
Now days though, most of my ironing is done on my small "over the door" ironing board that is in my sewing room. I use this one for pressing small items, ironing linens I've purchased and soaked clean, or my "on the run" ironing (just before I wear it.) Today I own a spray bottle (but think I may need a "sprinkler"), I have a lovely ironing board cover made from new (but appears to look vintage) fabric, and I own a good steam iron - so ironing is not such a chore. It's a very relaxing activity for me. Can't even begin to explain that one! So, with that background laid...I ponder why I love old linens. Is it because they are made of cotton, or because they have to be ironed? Perhaps it is the combination of the two...the look and feel of old washed and ironed linens. There is just something that calls my name.
I think fresh linens should be in every room of the house. I love freshly ironed tea towels in my kitchen....
Vintage aprons hung and within reach in case I want to throw one on and whip up something special...
I think my quests should have freshly ironed linens in the guest room...
and in the guest bath....(my sister gave me the lovely sister towel),
and in my bathroom...I believe I DO have linens in all the rooms! There's a theme!
I love the old 40's and 50's tablecloths...these are all ironed, folded and in good enough shape to spread on the kitchen table and serve my guests.
However, these are also vintage linens I keep in the sewing room and they're not in such good condition. I re-purpose these for use in my various projects. I can usually cut around the bad spots to create aprons, purses, or many other useful items.
The not so perfect ones are also soaked clean, washed and ironed and kept ready for any creative whim I might dream up for them. Sometimes in the ironing and prepping of the "cast offs"...I'm reminded that God uses us despite our "worn" and "torn" spots, and our "not so perfect" personalities. He can "re-purpose" us to put on His nature. We too can be washed and ironed to serve a new purpose!
Ephesians 4:21-24 "Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy."

1 Cowgurls said:

Paper Cowgurl said...

Is that our Bible study and thoughts for the day? I much enjoyed it!! It's nice to be reminded God does always have a plan for us even if it is on a different path than we started out. He just "re-purposes" us.