Today in My History
Doing the Best I Can
Cast (updated 7/16)
September 11, 2020
How many know what this is?
This is an ironer. If you had a mother like mine, you would see it in operation all the time.
My mother loved ironing. She loved ironing so much she wouldn't let me iron because I didn't do it good enough for her. She would sometimes let me iron handkerchiefs or towels (yes, she ironed towels), but when she got the ironer, she didn't need to have me iron towels because they could be ironed with the ironer. (I don't know if Karen ever ironed anything or not. I can't picture her ironing.)
She ironed everything flat--handkerchiefs, towels, sheets, pillow cases, dish towels, etc. BUT she also could iron everything else. She could do a man's dress shirt on the ironer as smoothly as she could do it on an ironing board. She could even do lace collars on blouses. She was pretty amazing.
When she was a senior in high school, her parents moved to San Francisco but she wanted to graduate with her class in Galt, so she was taken in by a neighboring family and she paid them by doing their ironing.
The ironer was kind of like the washing machine with the electric rollers that squeezed water out of your clothes. You were afraid of catching your hand in between the rollers...or on the big roller of the ironer.
The ironer sat in one corner of the kitchen and Karen found a different use for it.
Karen hated most foods and my mother would not let her leave the table until she'd cleared her plate (sometimes the plate went into the refrigerator and she was served the food for breakfast the next day).
Karen would sit for hours at the table, her food in front of her, not eating, but she wasn't going to give my mother the satisfaction of actually eating the food.
One day my mother was getting ready to do her ironing she she opened up the ironer and noticed something strange. If you see where the fold-out table is on the left, the leg of the ironer next to it attached to the body of the machine and Karen discovered there was a small slit where the two pieces came together, so she started stuffing her dinner down that slit and my mother found mashed potatoes where the slit was.
I don't know the result of that...if Karen was punished or if she found some other way to get rid of her food without eating it, but every time I see an ironer, I think of mashed potatoes and Karen stuffing them down the side of the ironer.
This is also why I have hated ironing and never do it. In the early years of our marriage, I did some ironing, but I could never do it as perfectly as my mother, so I just started buying wash and wear clothes that didn't need to be ironed. I have an iron and an ironing board (I don't know if they are mine that Marta recovered or if they are Marta's) but they have not been used in decades.
Given how much Marta does not like to eat, I wonder if when she was a child she ever found a way, like Karen did, of hiding her food so that her parents thought she had eaten her dinner.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
home grown watermelon
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This is entry #7474