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.