Thursday, June 07, 2012

Windshield Wipers and Washing Machines

I can hardly believe it has been 6 months since I wrote in here!! Where has the time flown?? There has been so much happening this past while I can hardly keep up with it all. And I will play catch up but what I wanted to write about now was a memory that I had today. I was driving home and it was raining... it went from downpour to drizzling and just about everything in between. I kept changing the speed of the windshield wiper and it finally settled into the right speed. Ever have a smell or sound or something that whips you right back into childhood?? Well that was what happened to me. I was just driving in silence, didn't even have the radio on, and the sound of the wipers reminded me of the sound of my mom's wringer washer. Now if you don't know what that is, you obviously have never had the pleasure of having your fingers and or hands caught between the rollers!!! Anyway in a matter of a minute or so, I was transported to Mondays growing up. Every Monday was mom's wash day, and soup day and baking day. We used to have this small back porch attached to the house and this was where the washer and dryer was held. Not that the dryer was used very much even in the dead of winter. They weren't very energy efficient in those days so Mom only used them to barely dry them they would hang them on the clothesline and then would bring them in still damp (and frozen stiff in winters) to hang them on doorways, backs of chairs and these portable clothes lines that were everywhere. You could smell the bleach, home made detergent, the Sunlight bar soaps used to clean the colors of white shirts etc.. as well as the cold from the laundry as they thawed and finished drying in the house. I loved that scent of wash day.... and it wasn't just the detergent either... All week Mom would save all the leftovers in a container in the fridge. Sunday dinners were always a HUGE deal, a roast of some kind, beef, chicken, pork, ham etc with potatoes and several vegetables, salad, AND dessert.. always dessert.. we hardly ever got dessert so Sunday lunch was anticipated all week long. Monday morning Mom would take whatever the bone was from the roasted meet and start it simmering on the stove, just before it was ready she would add all the leftovers from the week adding some rice or pasta sometimes till it was nice and thick... So there was the scent of clean laundry....and the soup.... And the bread....oh....that was the best...they didn't have quick-rise yeast in those days so it would take all day long. I took over the job of making the bread when I got older so I know there were 15 bread pans and 8 bun pans that got filled with dough. Mom always made more then would fill the pans because for our lunch with the soup was "petit-pains"..... oh was the only time we raced home for lunch on school days....the dough would have just finished the first rising and Mom would be just taking chunks of the dough out of the bread bowl to twist into log shapes before dropping them into hot oil. It would just take a couple of minutes to fry into a golden brown..just long enough for us to race into the house and get to the table.... the soup was ready and hot and the little bread doughs were piling on the plate in the middle of the table along with all sorts of things to go on them...fresh churned butter, different home made jams, peanut butter, syrup etc... we would eat till we had to roll out from our chairs we were so full...oh but they were so goooooooooooooood! So there was the scent of clean laundry...and the soap...and the petit-pains....and then after school... The bread would just be coming out of the oven when we got home and although we couldn't touch the bread we could the buns and we would take them out of the pans while they were still so hot we had to do a "hot potato" with them in our hands trying to keep from burning our fingers...but we finally would get them smeared with anything we could get our hands on and would fill up on mom made the BEST bread and buns... ever...still does.... I don't know how on earth we ever had room in our stomachs for Monday suppers but we did.. So that was where I went today on my way home in the rain listening to the windshield wipers.... to my Moms for Monday lunch..