IRONING – From Guest Blogger Linda Shook

“Ironing~~~it’s an art, and I think it’s dying out. It takes half a brain to do it, and the other half is free to roam.” Butler Christopher Ely, who has worked for Brooke Astor and Buckingham Palace.

Back in the 1950’s when I was growing up, my mom felt it was very important for me to learn to iron. My task was to iron the handkerchiefs, pillow cases and the tops of all the sheets. (She liked the sheets folded a certain way and the tops to be smooth). Basically I started out ironing anything that was flat.

After these items were washed and dried, the clothes, etc. were then sprinkled with the water filled sprinkle bottle and then rolled up and placed in the ‘ironing’ basket. If left like this too long, they would be covered with mildew and had to be washed again and I was usually in trouble.

As I got older, I moved on to more complicated ironing tasks, like my blouses, mom’s house dresses, aprons, dad’s shirts and slacks. By the time I got into high school I was the ironing queen of the house. Mom pretty much left it all to me.

Now one would think, that after having to iron as a kid I would hate ironing today. But I don’t….I don’t iron sheets or pillowcases and of course hankies have gone by the wayside. But I do still press my blouses and slacks. I like creases in the sleeves and flat fronts on my blouses. And I usually time my ironing for when a good movie is on TV. Then I set up ‘shop’ in front of the TV and iron away.

I’ve also discovered that my trusty ironing board has other uses. It can become a sideboard if you have a bunch of people over for dinner and there’s nothing else that works better as a work table for wrapping presents, than the ironing board.

Remember~The ironing board is portable, it can be set up almost anywhere and is just the right height.

So go ahead, call me crazy but I love to iron !



My first attempt at ironing in December 1943 just weeks before my 2nd birthday.
linda ironing december 1943

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7 responses to “IRONING – From Guest Blogger Linda Shook

  1. Ironing was part of my upbringing as well. We used the old coke bottle with the sprinkler attachment to sprinkle the clothes, roll them and put them in the refrigerator. Mom started me off with ironing the tea towels and pillowcases. From there, I was on my own. For years, I always ironed everything including my husband’s shirts and slacks and all of my dresses. It is truly a dying art. I have a friend in the neighborhood who doesn’t know how to iron and has asked me a couple of times to iron something special for one of her children. Quite frankly, EVERYONE needs to know how to iron. Before my older son went off to college, I made him watch me iron a shirt and slacks. He confessed years later that HE was the one teaching the other guys how to do it! (An example of smug Mother satisfaction.) Glad to hear someone else irons. Good for you!

    Connie Fischer
    conniecape@aol.com

  2. man, if you lived closer, I’d bring mine to you in a heartbeat! Enjoyed the post!

  3. I’m with Jillian, Linda. Ironing is right behind cleaning toilets for me. A necessary evil, but not one I enjoy. lol. However, I do appreciate the walk down memory lane.
    I remember one Thanksgiving my mother in law was staying with us for the holiday. I got the tablecloth out and started to spread it on the table, not caring that it had fold marks and maybe a wrinkle (or twenty). She was nice when she asked if I was really going to put it on the table like that. Still, I set her up with an iron, board, and let my 90 year old m-i-l iron it for me.
    God bless her!

  4. I agree I love ironing and watching a good movie. I’m not sure my grad kids know what an iron is and I’m sure they don’t know what an ironing board is. Thanks for sharing.

  5. What a darling picture!
    I , too, like to iron. I am a great ironer, by the way. Many moons ago I was the youngest one ever to be in the altar society , not only doing the altar linen, but in the prestigious position of caring for the priest’s albs!That was a very closed society of confident, middle-aged, perfectionist laundresses.(Which, except for the ‘middle-aged’ part back then, I guess described me anyway!)
    The only problem I have is that the items that I now iron are warm-weather clothes.Ironing is hot work, which I would welcome when the temps are cold, but the thinner and cottonier the hot-weather clothes, the more they are apt to need ironing. Is that IRONy?

  6. Gorgeous photo! I’m with you Linda, and love to iron. I find it meditative and often ‘iron out’ plot problems with the story I’m writing while performing the task. AJ also likes to iron, so there’s sometimes a battle for the ironing board in our home. Yes, we are indeed a strange couple 🙂

  7. Love the photo! I love ironing too, especially if there is a good film on TV to watch or programme on the radio to listen to at the same time. I don’t have much ironing nowadays and am of the iron when needing to wear brigade but when I think back I used to iron everything – baby’s nappies, towels, socks, the lot! How times have changed.

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