Friday, February 19, 2010

Wash Day

When I was a kid, my Mom had an old Maytag wringer washer to do the family laundry. If you don't have a clue what I'm talking about, here's a picture. I would beg to help her on washday but she rarely said yes. It wasn't that I was a perfect kid, it was summer and I was bored with having "Nothing to Do!" They were a bit dangerous, I can remember having my fingers pinched in the rollers if I didn't watch carefully as I passed the clothing through. It did a good job of washing clothes though. Mom used Fab detergent and bleach on practically dirty clothes allowed on Mom's watch! That washing machine lasted a long time. In fact it's still in storage at the farm, waiting for someone to restore it's beauty. I don't think anyone would ever choose it over a modern hi efficiency washer with digital controls that add detergent, pre-wash, cleaning boosters, and have a zillion cycles, even steam. But for Mom, it worked just great.

She did wash on Monday, only Monday. It would be two or three loads and we were a family of four. Mom would hang the clothes out year-round. That meant snowy winters in Missouri, she would put on her snow boots, gloves and wool headscarf and brave the cold temperatures to hang out clothes. When she'd bring the wash in at the end of the day, the shirts and pants would be frozen stiff. She'd stand them by the wall and in a few minutes they would "slump" to the floor and she'd laugh and say Old Man Winter slipped out of them! No complaining about her cold hands and feet, not to mention the extra work required to put out that big wash.

It's just the two of us, my washer holds twice as much and I wash practically every day. Can you explain that to me?


  1. is that clothes sometimes would get caught in it and wrap around the wringer?

  2. ~what a delightful memory of your mama...sounds as if she had a beautiful soul...i could hardly imagine too as i feel i am forever doomed to piles of laundry needing to be someways...though hard back then without the modern conviences life was much more simplified as they did not consume so much...brightest blessings and may we all embrace your mothers heart and be happy we can wash!~

  3. Back then people wore the same outfit more than one day in a row - that way they would only have to do wash on Mondays! Now, we wear something different every single day, if we so choose - so of course we have to wash daily sometimes! I throw one color in each day to keep on top of it all - but thank God for modern conveniences! Have you read my Chore of the Day posts? Friday is lamp chimney cleaning day!!! Have fun!

  4. Thanks for the memories . . . my mom had the same kind of wringer washer until we moved up to the Big City.

  5. We had the same one too....and always hung out the clothes....

    Amen, I was at least every other day for the 2 of us...I swear those dirty clothes are multiplying! ha

  6. Hey now.. this was my very first washing machine. I was very prego at the time with the first child and I got tired of heading over to the laundromat, so a church was selling this baby for 25 bucks. I got it. I tell ya, this machine washed diapers so well that every those bad stains came out.

    Still love Maytag to this day!!

    Cute posts

    with love.. and I too love company!


  7. Glad to meet a fellow Arkansan! I am so glad you stopped by because I got to come hear and read this post! I am so very thankful for my washer now because that looks like SO MUCH work. Haha. I also thought 4 loads of laundry for a week? I have to do AT LEAST one load a day...sometimes two!

    Oh, and sounds like your mom was WONDERFUL.

  8. My mom had a wringer washer too. When we'd hang out the pants, we had metal stretcher things to put in the pant legs to make a crease.
    Ironing day was interesting too. My mom would sprinkle all the clothes, roll them up and put them in a plastic bag. The next day, she'd iron those clothes while watching TV and drinking a Pepsi in a glass with ice.
    Thanks for the memories.

  9. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I'm so glad you did, because that brought me over to visit you. I've been scrolling through your blog and realized that I saw your beautiful home in the Arkansas Home magazine. I recall the issue well, because I enjoyed seeing your home so much. I am all the way over in the NE corner of Ark., but a couple of years ago, I was at a friend's house on Beaver Lake. It is such a beautiful spot. I so agree with you about the clothes washing. I feel like I spend a good part of my time in the laundry room! laurie

  10. That's what was thinking...two or three loads ONCE a week...what am I doing wrong???? I thinking we just have too many clothes...going to remedy this problem

  11. Wow, that brings back memories. I vaguely remember my mom using her old wringer washer. She would not let us close very often either because of the danger. Funny, I don't remember getting our first electric washer. You would think I would because I know it was a big event.

  12. Oh yes, I remember them! I took over doing the washing at age 12...what a lot of work and to think of the machines age! :D

  13. We don't have this kind of machine here in old days! We had all our clothings 100% perfectly HANDWASH!


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