Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Laundry Day

I hate winter laundry.

What is it about doing laundry in the winter that I hate so much? There is so much of it! With all the long sleeve shirts, long pants, long underwear, long pajamas, sweatshirts, sweatpants, sweaters, and socks and more socks -- there's a whole lot of laundry to do in the winter. I know I spend twice the amount of time on laundry in the winter that I do in summer.

And I know I'm not alone in my winter laundry hatred. There must be enough of us out there to form a club. And the thing is - I don't have a big family. There are only 4 of us. How does a family with 6 teenagers ever get ahead of the laundry in winter? I should be more grateful that I don't have that amount of laundry to do, but I'm just not. I hate winter laundry.

I was singing "the laundry blues" recently, when I happened across the following email while doing some cleaning at my Dad's. This little story, reminded me of my own grandmother, who was born in 1904 and surely experienced the winter laundry blues often.
Years ago an Alabama grandmother gave the new bride the following recipe for washing clothes. It appears just as it was written, and despite the spelling, has a bit of philosophy. This is an exact copy as written and found in an old scrap book (with spelling errors and all).

1. Bild fire in backyard to heat kettle of rain water.

2. Set tubs so smoke wont blow in eyes if wind is pert.

3. Shave one hole cake of lie soap in boilin water.

4. Sort things, make 3 piles.
1 pile white,
1 pile colored,
1 pile work britches and rags.

5. To make starch, stir flour in cool water to smooth, then thin down with boilin water.

6. Take white things, rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard, and then bile. Rub colored don't bile, just wrinch and starch.

7. Take things out of kettle with broom stick handle, then wrinch, and starch.

8. Hang old rags on fence.

9. Spread tea towels on grass.

10. Pore wrinch water in flower bed.

11. Scrub porch with hot soapy water.

12. Turn tubs upside down.

13. Go put on clean dress, smooth hair with hair combs. Brew cup of tea, sit and rock a spell and count your blessings.

Kind of puts it all in perspective doesn't it? Reading this definitely put a smile on my face. My favorite part is #13 - rock a spell and count your blessings. The next time I do laundry and I'm finally finished at the end of the day I think I"ll do exactly that. I'm still trying to figure out what "...scrub hard, and then bile. Rub colored don't bile" means...

Hmmm. Winter laundry? Somehow it doesn't seem so bad now. That electric washer and dryer sitting in my basement are definitely working for me. There's a suggestion at the bottom of the page: Paste this over your washer and dryer and next time when you think things are bleak, read it again and give thanks for your blessings.

An Electric Washer and Dryer - definitely works for me.


motherhen68 said...

You know, I live in SW Louisiana. We have rather mild winters. In January I made a resolution to hang all my laundry, weather permitting. While this has been working well, when it's cold and windy (ie: 50's & below) it's just miserable hanging that laundry. I was thinking just the other day how my grandmother & her mother had to wash their laundry OUTSIDE in all sorts of weather.

This made me rather thankful for the washer & dryer I have inside. I have the OPTION to hang laundry. :)

I love that list, and especially #13 as well. Thanks for sharing it. (ps, I hate winter laundry as well!)

Anonymous said...

Having grown up in the South, I know that "bile" meals "boil." You can boil the white clothes, but not the colored!

Chris said...

I never thought about the fact that there is more laundry in the winter, how true!!! I do appreciate the fact that I am training up my boys to do their own laundry, this cuts it a little. I do so appreciate the joy of my washer and dryer, and I will attempt to quit coveting every front loading washer that I pass at the home depot.

Becky said...

LOVE IT! I followed your link from Rocks in My Dryer. I must say that puts things in perspective. Thanks! I look forward to reading your blog a bit.


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