Saturday, November 14, 2009

good news, bad news

How many people remember these old wringer-style washing machines? My mom had one, and like this one in the picture it was on wheels so that it could be rolled around. My mom kept it out on the back porch and rolled it into the kitchen when it was time to do the laundry. What with my brother and I and my mother and father, we were a family of four. Four people generating dirty laundry. My mom worked six days a week along with my father and the only day that she had off was Sunday. But she couldn't rest on Sunday because she had to prepare the traditional large Sunday meals plus do all that laundry. And she had to do it in an old fashioned wringer washing machine. Ours was really old because it would not pump the water out of the tub but rather the water had to be drained out of a hose at the bottom of the machine one bucketful at a time. I would take each bucket when it was full down the back stairs and pour it onto the grass outside. There were quite a few buckets of water in the machine and so it was quite a chore for me which I dreaded. I was young (around 8 or 9 years old) and the buckets really felt heavy to me. One day my mom had to leave the kitchen with the washing machine running. I thought that I would help my mom by putting the clothes through the wringer. You guessed it, my fingers got caught in the wringer and started pulling my hand in. Then it proceeded up the arm. I was screaming hysterically. My mom heard my screams and came running downstairs and hit the emergency release bar on top of the wringer releasing the rollers and my arm. My arm had actually gotten into the rollers all the way up to the armpit and so my mom arrived just in the knick of time. Some aspects of the good ole’ days just weren’t that good. I just wanted to write about my experience to bring back some memories for the senior folk and to let the junior folk know what life was like. It is true that “a woman’s work was never done”.
So what does the above story have to do with “good news, bad news”? Absolutely nothing. But I do have some good news and some bad news. Which should I tell first? Let’s get through the bad news first. The bad news is that I fell asleep Friday and slept all night right through the scheduled 1:00 am launch of the Atlas missile. I had wanted to see the fiery trail of the rocket in the night sky. The good news is that the launch of the missile was scrubbed and I got a good nights sleep and didn’t get up needlessly. I know, you were expecting some really exciting bad news and some really exciting good news. I guess that I just lead a sort of mundane life. But living here in Orlando, Florida makes up for all of that mundane stuff. Maybe I will go to Downtown Disney next week. After all it is free, no admission, and free parking. Can’t beat that. All non-Floridians, eat your heart out. But do try to have a nice day. Lew


seaside said...

I didn't get to hear what you had for your Saturday big breakfast. Today, we are having sausage gravy and biscuits and eggs. Reading about your experience with the old washing machine makes me appreciate modern appliances.

seaside said...

How did you rinse out the clothes? Plus,mom mentioned what a big job washing the bed sheets would be.Plus, hanging the sheets and clothes on the line and taking them down. Mom said even the bed sheets and pillow cases were ironed. Ironing was an all day affair. What type of iron did you have? Do you remember?

seaside said...

Mom just reminded me how good the smell of fresh laundry and iron sheets must have felt. I think we are about to dine on Sunday breakfast.