Wash Day Blues: How to Wash Clothes by Hand
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After all the wash was done, we poured the rinse water on the flowers and shrubs, and the pot and lye water tubs were emptied on the weeds in the driveway. Once dried by the sun and breeze, our family gathered the clothes and sorted them on the dining room table. Work clothes were shaken out and hung on nails. Bedding went back on the beds since most families including ours – didn’t own more than one set. Few homes were built with closets that housed a family’s clothing behind bedroom doors, either.
Hold on – the arduous chore wasn’t over yet. Clothes to be ironed were dumped on a bed with an ironing board, sprinkled with a water bottle and made into a tight ball with all the ends tucked in tight. With all items watered down and packed into the laundry basket, a damp towel was placed over the top to prevent evaporation until the next day when they could be ironed.
Just as Monday was designated as wash day, Tuesday was ironing day. I've never heard any practical reasons why these days were chosen, but the routine never varied for the weekly wash blues. FC
Delbert Trew is a freelance writer, retired rancher and supervisor of the Devil’s Rope Museum in McLean, Texas. Contact him at Trew Ranch, Box A, Alanreed, TX 79002; (806) 779-3164; e-mail: email@example.com.
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