Monday morning blues? Not me. I like Monday. But I didn’t as a child. Modern technology has changed my life and attitude.
My mother’s Monday was a day to dread way back when.
She pulled the wringer washer out and set it up with the tubs. In the early days, she pumped water from the well. It took several buckets full to fill the washer and rinse tubs. If she used hot water, she heated it in a teakettle on the stove. If Daddy’s work clothes were stained with axel grease or oil, she soaked them in gasoline while she did the rest of the wash, one sorted pile at a time, in the same wash and rinse waters.
The wringer had a hand crank on the side and she ran every item through the wringer into the first rinse tub, repositioned the wringer, and ran the rinsed items through to the second tub… and when that was done, the items that would be ironed were tossed in a dishpan of starch and wrung by hand. This was not an easy task since Daddy’s jeans and overalls needed starch… and wringing them out by hand was no easy task. His work clothes would have been the last load so she may have used the wringer for them. If not, my mom’s hands must have been much stronger than mine.
Next task, carry the basket of wet wash from the front porch to the clotheslines out back and hang each item on the line with clothespins… and hope for a sunny day so everything would dry before it rained.
A few hours later she brought the laundry in, folded the sheets, towels, washcloths and underwear. And then she prepared the rest for Tuesday’s ironing. She sprinkled each garment, rolled it, and placed it in the basket. When she was done, she had at least one bushel basket full and covered it with a couple of towels to keep it moist until the next day… Tuesday.
Monday’s unique chore was laundry but the family had to eat three meals. So she cooked, fed the family, and cleaned the kitchen between washday tasks.
Of course, things improved for her. We got electricity soon after we moved to the farm and some time after that running water in the kitchen. And then a water heater. She used the washer in the kitchen, didn’t have to pump and heat the water, and the hand crank was replaced by an electric motor… Still… I like my Mondays much better than the ones I remember from my early days. (However, I have a vivid memory of diapers freezing by the time I put the second clothespin in place) I love modern technology… it’s Monday and here I sit at my computer. We don’t have a clothesline and I’ll … well, you know… washday isn’t all that big a deal these days. If the drier buzzes and I’m doing something else, it can wait.