Wednesday, July 8, 2009

pillow (case) talk

I remember being very young when I learned to use an iron. Later on in life, I made an extra income ironing my neighbors work clothes. I charged 25 cents per item...that was a long time ago. House chores in general are not my favorite thing to do. My mom likes to wash dishes by hand. She finds the warm soapy water relaxing. My daughter enjoys folding clothes hot from the dryer. Me? I forgot that certain chores can bring pleasure to the senses. I think being chronically ill turned everything into such a well planned out task, that I couldn't remember how to enjoy work.

While changing out the beds one day, I caught a whiff of the clean sheets, still warm from drying. I buried my face in them and took a deep long breath. Old memories flooded my mind. The hot steaming iron pressing out the wrinkles of pillow cases. Cotton has a smell all its own when being ironed. Many generations of women know that smell very well. It is ancient and fresh, simple and pure. How could I have forgotten?

That was a couple of months ago and I am now ironing out my pillow cases again. I actually look forward to it, like a treat, I turn the iron on to the highest temperature and press each case. I change my own pillow cases often and now when I snap them open they are covered in perfectly square pressed sections, somehow still holding onto that steam iron smell. When those creases begin to fade, it's time to put them in the dirty hamper.

I still don't like house chores...let mom wash all the dishes and sissy can do all the laundry she wants, but the pillow cases are mine.


Mary Timme said...

Ironing pillow cases and hankies was my first "big girl" work and I had a little iron that heated on the stove just like my mom's only smaller in size and not so heavy. Yep, we used to iron everything as when I was little we used a scrub board to wash everything and wrung it out by hand. Gee! Do you suppose that and milking may have contributed to my sorry shoulder that gave out on me in my 40's? Duh! I still iron many things as I don't like the look of most unpressed permanent press things. And the smell is delicious!

Wanda said...

Oh Dar... you hit a cord. I too loved the smell of a hot iron on cotton. I also love laying my head on a clean crisp pillow case, with the iron pressed folds.

Remember my first ironing jobs were the pillow cases and cloth napkins.

When Jill was a baby, I ironed dress shirts for $1.00 a shirt for extra money.

I'm smelling those memories as I type.

Love and Hugs
Wanda Mom

sweet expressions said...

Thanks for letting me remember a fond memory of pressed pillow cases


Jack K. said...

What a joy to discover the joy in the most innocent and unlikely places. Glad to know you rediscovered this simple pleasure. I hope you find more of them.

Full Soul Ahead! said...

Beautiful Darlene. Love this post.

Anonymous said...

I read in Boho blog that you are struggling and feeling bad. I had a feeling since I have checked in and not seen an update in a while. I hope you will be better soon. Take Care!

Vanessa said...

hi darlene. i read on denise's blog that you haven't been feeling too good. i'm so sorry. i'm thinking of you and hope you're feeling better soon.
i wear the beautiful necklace you gave to me often. from now on, each time i rub it's pretty silver pendant (i do that all the time!), i'll consciously think of you and send you all the healing vibes i can muster, k?
love to you.

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