“All will come out in the washing.”

Last night I woke up to thunder and lightning, and I was so glad I did. I’d have hated to miss that storm as I’ve been hoping for such a boomer with all its sight and sound effects. My room lit up several times. The animals didn’t even move; Fern and Gracie stayed asleep on my bed while I enjoyed the display. Today is damp and cloudy, leftovers from yesterday and last night’s rain. The morning is cool the way damp mornings always are, even in summer. On one hand I really like a cool day but on the other I don’t because a day like today removes any and all excuses about doing chores. I can’t say the heat is too much so I’m stuck doing what I’ve put off for a few days. The first wash, all the dog’s blankets and stuff, is already in the machine. The kitchen floor has been swept, and I used my foot to swab the kitchen tiles with a Lysol wet cloth. When the dog wash is done, I’ll bring down one of the storm doors then I’ll bring the other when my washing is ready for the dryer. I feel like I should be wearing a t-shirt which says I am crazy for cleaning, and I mean that in a couple of ways.

I put off doing laundry because I hate to fold it after it dries, and I hate hauling it up two flights of stairs. Usually I leave the clean laundry sitting in the dryer wrinkling away until I need to do another wash or I’m just about out of clean underwear. I guess I shouldn’t complain as I remember my mother doing a load of wash just about every day, and she had a wringer machine when I was a kid and no dryer. Our cellar back then had two huge, deep sinks at one end, and the washing machine water flowed into one of them. I remember watching my mother push clothes through the wringer then catch them on the other side. When I see a pasta machine being used, I’m reminded somehow of that wringer.

Well, the machine just beeped so I need to move the clothes to the dryer. Is a woman’s work never done?



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27 Comments on ““All will come out in the washing.””

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    In these modern times, the laundry room should be upstairs where the clothes live instead of in the traditional out of sight place that was inconvenient for everyone including the servants that had to use it.
    My laundry room is at the back of the cellar. It’s easier for me to go out the front door, around to the backyard and in the cellar door than to lug the laundry down the steep and ancient stairs. This isn’t possible in bad weather, so I stuff my laundry in professional laundry service bag, throw it down the stairs and drag it to the laundry room. I fold things as I pull them out of the dryer and then stack them in the laundry bag to be dragged back up the stairs. I will admit to abandoning clothes in the dryer until I need them.

    I hate laundry.

    My mother had one of those wringer washers. It lived in the pantry next to the sink. I was remembering it the other day while contemplating how small the pantry really is. When my mother did laundry, the three of us kids would be in there with her getting our fingers and hair caught in the rollers. It seemed to be such a big room back then. Now I can’t figure out how the four of us and the washing machine all fit in there.

    Sunny and on the cool side up here today. A perfect excuse to put off chores, in my opinion. 🙂 Don’t work too hard and remember to enjoy the day!

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      In the Cape house where I lived with my family in the 60’s, the washer and dryer were in the kitchen as the cellar was a tiny one, a half cellar with cement all around. It was only big enough for our freezer. It made perfect sense, and it was the only one I’ve seen in that room.

      I complain about doing laundry, but you have it worse than I do. My cellar is above ground in the back and has regular size windows.

      Like you, I hate laundry. Today, though, I ended up bringing all the loads upstairs-left none in the dryer, an unusual event for me.

      I saw a kid with a mangled arm as he had gotten it caught in the wringer. It made me keep away from that monster!

      I finished all but putting together the feeder for the birds. It’s so heavy I had to drag it to get to the deck, and I’ll have to slide it down the stairs to the yard, but I’ll put if off for another day.

      Thunder way off!

  2. olof1 Says:

    We had a washing machine with a wringer too 🙂 We had it in the kitchen because our toilet was so small 🙂 The kitchen was small too but somehow it fitted there 🙂

    Sunny all day until we all drove home from work, then thunder and rain came. I couldn’t see any lightning though, just as well since we still were out walking when it started 🙂 I do hope this lousy weather will turn towards sunnier again now. I don’t mind rainy days, just not as many as we’ve had lately.

    Have a great day!

    • Kat Says:

      Most of the machines here are in the cellar, few in the kitchen. My sister, though, has hers in the closet off the family room, a great place for one and where I’d prefer to have mine if I could.

      I figure the rain might be coming as I can hear thunder again. It goes from sunny to cloudy to sunny again so it’s really difficult to tell.

      We’re supposed to have a great week with low temperatures every night.

      Wishing you sun!!

  3. Bob Says:

    When I was a little kid we lived in an apartment and my mother’s washer was on wheels and had to be hooked to the kitchen faucet and emptied into the sink. It didn’t need a wringer because it had a spin cycle. However, she had to hang the cloths from a line outside her kitchen window over the ally between our building and the one next door. When my parents bought a house she had a front load washer and a dryer. This was in the middle 50’s. I can’t understand why laundry rooms are located near the kitchen instead of near the bedroom area of the house? Most people change and store their cloths in their bedrooms and not in their kitchen. I assume the reason is that most houses are designed by men who never have to do the laundry. 🙂

    • Kat Says:

      I remember seeing pictures of lines strung between buildings and women pulling them to the window to fill with clothes. One picture had lines and lines strung across-a neat picture.

      I wouldn’t ever want the washing machine near a bedroom. That is a refuge. I’d like the machine near the kitchen where you can make meals and do the laundry at the same time: it saves effort, movement and energy.

      Wow, we never had that fancy a washer in the 50’s. I know when we moved to the cape in the mid 60’s my mother bought a new washer and dryer and the washer was her first front loader.

      The builders, mostly men, put the washer hook-up in the cellar, the last place I’d pick.

      • Bob Says:

        Unfortunately, here in Texas we can’t have cellars because the clay soil will expand and contract with the various moisture content and break down the cellar walls. Our houses are built on either concrete slabs or pier and beams. This is why washers were first installed in the garages and later in a room off the kitchen called a ‘utility’ or wash room.

        Today we hit 106 degrees here in Dallas and 109 in Ft. Worth.

      • Caryn Says:

        I was going to say that laundry rooms were in the cellar because men build the houses but I didn’t want to be too sexist about it. After all the first thing my friend’s wife had him do in their brand new house was to move the washer and dryer from the upstairs mud room to the basement.
        The cellar laundry might be from the times when no one was supposed to see the workings of the household. All the cooking, washing, ironing etc was either done by servants, out of sight of the upstairs class or it was done by the wife and daughters out in the backyard over a boiling cauldron. 🙂

  4. Zoey & Me Says:

    Those old wringers is a good memory. I can see my Mother working the clothes through in my mind. You gotta wonder how we made it back then with what we have now. But I recall two long lines of clothes hanging once a week and Mom in a panic with the first sign of rain. All us kids were unsnapping pegs and laughing all the way as dark clouds appeared overhead.

    • Kat Says:

      I also have a great people in my memory drawers of my mother feeding the laundry through. Those times seem like the middle ages compared to now.

      The laundry got hung up on lines in the backyard. I remember how my mother had a certain way to hang the laundry using those wooden clothespins she kept hung on the line in a bag just for them.

  5. Bill S. Says:

    We had friends who moved here from Germany in 1949, having been thru WW2 and the depression both before and afterwards. In this country they had a wringer washer from Sears, and they said the benefit was that they could save the water for re-use, and thus not increase their water bill. When the old wringer died, they bought a new wringer washer from Sears around 1990–I couldn’t believe they still made them.

    These are the same people who had boxes of saved items in their cellar, including boxes of rubber bands, string, currency bands (that go around stacks of dollar bills), and other items. Each box was labelled and stacked in alphbetical order. My favorite was a box labelled “Uselss junk”. You gotta love them Germans.

    • Kat Says:

      I can’t believe it either. I figure they must be a bit more advanced than when my mother had to stand there and push the clothes through and collect them on the other side.

      I’m thinking I wouldn’t want to use dirty water to make clothes clean.

      I had to laugh about their useless junk! I admit I have collections like my hats and snow globes but no rubber bands, no string and no aluminum foil ( I know some people save it).

      We always had a junk drawer in the kitchen and it was loaded with all sorts of stuff like nails and screws, rubber bands, the boxes of foil and Saran wrap and matches.

      I have a drawer in a table in the living room filled with stuff but it is my tool drawer with screw drivers, my hammer, wire, nails, screws and a variety of glue like Gorilla. It is an updated version of that junk drawer my parents always had.

    • Birgit Says:

      Bill, nice description, I had to laugh. You’ve got me,
      as this behavior is often inherited to the next generation.
      You should see our cellar:
      Lots of usefull and useless stuff in old boxes and used cans
      (cans are more durable!), even a CARE-coffee can is there.
      Never throw anything away, what you might need decades later 😉
      And -you may laugh- at home we use our bathtub water for the toilet.
      Greetings from crazy Germany 🙂

      • Bill S. Says:

        My mother-in-law was half German (her mother was German), and so she and my wife inherited the “save everything and store it away” gene. I on the other hand get rid of stuff I haven’t used in 5 years. I take it to our recycling center so that others may find a use for it. Maybe if our generation had lived thru what our friends went thru in Germany. we might have a different perspective on saving.

        Where are you in Germany? I have spent some time working in the Bremerhafen (Lamstedt) area, as well as in and around the Berlin suburbs.

    • Birgit Says:

      Bill, each year (spring cleaning) I try to get rid of old stuff,
      but I’m not very successful 😉
      I have relatives in East-Berlin, but I grew up and live south-west in the middle of the Ruhr area / Westphalia. It’s comparable to Berlin: crowded industrial metropolitan region, lots of immigrants and cultural events, some nice green cities and suburbs. I like to live here. (Sometimes I miss the ocean, but the Netherlands are nearby.)

      • Bill S. Says:

        I haven’t been to your area–maybe next time. I did travel to Kassel once by train, and then by car through Hanover to Bremen. Germany is such a beautiful country with so much history.

        I didn’t laugh when I read about the bath water (we call it “grey” water) going to the toilet. I have some friends south of Berlin who do the same thing–quite a smart way to conserve water.

  6. Kat Says:

    That makes sense if you don’t have cellars because the only house without a cellar had appliance in the kitchen. My friend, with no real cellar, has her appliances in the mud room off the kitchen.

    That is a great observation-the upstairs/downstairs servant sort of thing. People were so prudish in those long ago days.

    • Bob Says:

      Ok, I give up, what’s a mud room? I did look at a house that had the utility room on the side of the house that had the bedrooms. It makes a lot of sense when you have a large house, over 3,000 sq. feet, and have to shlep the laundry to and from the kitchen back to the bedrooms.

      • Kat Says:

        A mud room is really the entry way where you leave all the muddy boots and coats. I think it dates from Colonial times, but I do know that many traditional cape houses have them.

  7. Bert van Lokhorst Says:

    I used to help my mother with the laundry, which then was done 100% by hand. For the whites a drum of water was boiled on the stove and I still wonder how mother lifted that weight to the tub and the wringer. She didn’t get a washing machine before my 12th birthday.

    Last week lightning struck a transformer station and there was no juice for 18 hours. A sobering experience. I over-reacted by buying a pile of candles plus a big torch. Still, safe(r) now for calamities.

    • katry Says:

      I never saw wash done by hand until I went in the Peace Corps. In Ghana all wash was and, for the most part, is still done by hand. The clothes take quite a beating. I also watched women washing their clothes on the river bank and using stones. I couldn’t imagine all that work. I should’t be complaining about the washing machine and dryer!

      The worst thing about losing power is the fridge and everything in the freezer going bad. Hurricanes often cause days without power here. Last summer another one caused four days without power. Luckily I have two battery powered lanterns and a crank radio. I also keep a torch handy. I don’t think you over-reacted but rather got prepared in case it happens again!

  8. splendid Says:

    Hello to Kat &all the Coffee groupies!
    It’s been forever since I have had time to sit and enjoy your conversations, so good to know they are still here and just as entertaining as always! Love reading everyone’s memories and thoughts on the wash day~ Monday was always wash day for our house. Like most of you I, too hate laundry and I would say one of the top five lessons I tried to teach my three daughters: Join a nudist colony BEFORE you have children…that would cut down on laundry considerably! We’ll see if it worked in the next few years! Have a great day KEEP COOL!!!!!!!

    • Kat Says:

      That’s funny, as in odd, that I never though about wash day. I think my mother did a wash when there were enough clothes and once a week would never have been enough.

      I don’t hate doing laundry but hate folding it and bringing the pile up two flights of stairs. That’s why it sits in the dryer until I am forced to remove the clean clothes to make room for the newly washed.

      Okay, I’d love to see your reactions if your babies did decide to join a nudist colony!

  9. Ann Says:

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your
    blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

    • katry Says:

      Welcome to Coffee Ann,
      As you can read, the postings are a bit sporadic as I am in Ghana. I write every day but Wednesday when I am home.

  10. Hi! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be

    okay. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

    • katry Says:

      Thanks!! I’m glad you’re enjoying Coffee. I’m @missry on Twitter.

      I publish every day except Wednesday.

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