If you look in most homes today, you will probably find a modern washer/dryer combination tucked away in some corner of the house. For those, like myself, who either don’t have adequate room for those modern conveniences, or don’t have the financial ability to pay for a set, there is always the local laundrymat. But go further back in time…to my childhood…and you wouldn’t find even those luxuries at my house.
My earliest memories of laundry day is my mother pulling out a large metal tub and wash board like this one. She would scrub until her knuckles were red and raw, before ringing out each piece by hand and then taking each load outside to hang on the clothesline. Backbreaking work for my mother but necessary when you have a husband and four active children to look after.
Next came the wringer washing machine…a contraption with two huge rollers ran by a crank positioned over a tub. Mother still had to use the washboard but at least it saved her hands from the wringing. She still used the clothesline but by then, I was old enough and tall enough to do the clothesline work for her.
Finally came the day when my mother had saved enough money to buy an actual washing machine. Wedged between our old bathtub and the linen closet in our narrow bathroom, Mother worshiped at its rattling, clanging alter for most of my teenage years. She never did save up enough for a dryer, but at least she was able to retire from rapping her knuckles on that metal washboard.
These days I use the convenience of a local laundrymat, but a part of me misses the days of hanging clothes out in the fresh air and later watching dragonflies flit from clothespin to clothespin in the summer sunshine. I did most of my daydreaming during that time…creating poetry I would chant to myself before dashing back inside to write them down. I enjoyed walking between the rows of drying wash, hiding from the world around me and letting my imagination carry me off to distant lands where knights and dragons awaited to save this damsel in distress.
Writers have a knack for creating stories, no matter their surroundings, and even a steamy, old-fashioned wash day can carry an aspiring future author away on a grand adventure…
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Best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest chapter book series is called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES. Book One, Ship of Dreams, is available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers. Also, coming to the Titanic Museums in Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Book Two, A Chocolate Train Wreck, was released in November.
2 thoughts on “TALES FROM THE BAYOU: Wash Your Troubles Away”
I hated folding the clothes once they were dry. I still hate it today. However, I loved helping Mother when she used the wringer washer.
I loved that wringer washer and loved playing near the clothesline, but you used to tease me about the dragonflies…remember? 😉
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