Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lila Jane Lee "Doing the wash at Grandmother Lee’s house"

Doing the wash at Grandmother Lee’s house by Lila Jane Lee

When I was a little girl Mother and I went over to Grandmother’s house to do the wash; it was called wash then, not laundry. We had to build a fire under the big black wash pot and boil the water for the old ringer type washer. We would then add cold water to make the temperature just right. We would add lye soap and let it run for a long time, it seemed to me. One day Mother let me run the clothes through the ringer and told me to be careful or I might get my hand caught in the ringer. I thought I was big stuff and started putting the clothes through ringer, so they could then go to the rinse water waiting. Well I did get my hand caught and my arm went too. I screamed and Mother quickly turned it off and I got my arm and hand out. I don’t remember it hurting, but was scared to death almost. We would then take the wet clothes back to the house and hang them on our line. I would pick the pieces up for Mother to hang on the line.

Then one day Mother got an electric washer of her own. She would wash the clothes and then we would take them out to hang on the line. One day I told her I didn’t want to go to the clothes line, she told me, “We don’t have to go to Grandmother’s any more to wash, as we have our own washer now. I then said, “Well I want one that will dry them too, so we won’t have to hang them up”. Needless to say, it came to that finally after I left home.

Now, I love hanging out clothes on the line. I still do it when the weather permits, but it hasn’t been letting me do it much lately.

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