Mom's Old Flatiron
Remembrances of my childhood...
“What is this thing,” I asked. “This was my mother’s iron…” she said, as mom reached over and took the object from my hands. “I’ve keep it all these years just to remind me of how things used to be.” I remember that conversation that mom and I had that day as we were cleaning out the basement, getting rid of things seldom or never used anymore. She took my small hand in hers as we sat down for a moment of rest from our chores. Mom tried to set aside a Saturday usually in the springtime to set out the flowers and clean up the garage and basement of all the clutter that had accumulated since this time last year.
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I had hurt my foot on that old heirloom...
I had remembered running into it with just my socks on when I was younger. Mom had used it for a door stop to hold the door open from what used to be our (the boys’) bedroom, but was now the den and the living room where the children weren’t to enter unless we had company visiting, or Christmas or maybe for pictures. I had been much younger then and after I had hurt my foot on the old heirloom, mom had replaced it with a large seashell someone had given her. She had then taken that old flat iron, wrapped it in newspaper placing it in a large shopping bag for safe keeping and took it to the basement. I could tell by the look in mom’s eyes, she was having second thoughts about discarding it now, so I said I would place it back on the shelf for a while longer, all the time re-arranging the things around it so it could not be easily knocked off and hurt some unsuspecting grandchild during a time of prowling.
That way she always had one warmin'...
She went on to tell me how hard her momma had life back when she was a little girl and how her mom had to heat that old iron on the top of the kitchen stove before she could iron my mom’s little dresses when she was a little girl. I tried to image the hard times they must have had having to cook on an old wood stove which doubled as a second source of heat during the cold winter months. Her ironing board was just that, an old board with a sheet wrapped around it and pinned on the bottom with a few safety pins, placed on the corner of the kitchen table closest to the stove so she wouldn’t have to reach so far for it when needed. She said he mom would use two of them, that way she always had one warming on the stove while using the other one.
“That’s just the way times were”
“Mom didn’t complain,” she said, “that’s just the way times were.” That sorta made me glad I hadn’t come along any earlier than I did. We didn’t have a whole lot maybe, but we had electricity now and mom didn’t have to iron our clothes the way her mom had to when she was a little girl.
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