There’s something special about old irons and my dear, little mother. It seems she has gathered quite a collection of them over the past few years.
Quite a while ago I shared my dear mother’s laundry room with you here. She has added more irons to her collection since then – children’s irons, heavy irons, shiny silver irons, brightly colored irons and irons with strange-looking parts attached. Just before Christmas a long-time friend gave my dear mother some money to buy something special for herself. She carefully put the money in a little pocket of her purse and waited to find just the right thing! A few days later we visited an antique store – and there it was. A pretty blue iron that captured her heart must have been waiting for her to come along. Soon it was in her arms and then in her home. This beauty was right at home in my dear mother’s laundry room!
Does your iron have a name? My dear mother’s new iron does. It has a ‘fun’ name – Fairy Prince!
When I was a little girl we lived in a small town in Central Oregon where my father was the minister of a church. I walked to school every morning with a group of kids from the neighborhood. In the afternoon we walked home from school together. As we passed each friend’s home along the way we said goodbye and continued on until I was the last only one left. I didn’t have far to go – just a house or two – and then I was home! My mother was there when I opened the door of our home and at times she was still working on something that needed to be completed that day. Monday was washing and ironing day and I will never forget how carefully she ironed my father’s white shirts. They were washed and starched and carefully ironed so no wrinkle would have the nerve to try to stay! When she began to teach me how to iron – she started me out on my dad’s hankies – she instilled in me the importance of carefully pressing out every single wrinkle. She taught me that it was important for him to have carefully ironed shirts and hankies so people wouldn’t be a distracted from his words when he stood to preach. Or when he talked and prayed with people. I learned so much from her. I learned to do a job well and to take pride in what I had done. More than that – whenever my mother stood over the ironing board for several hours, carefully ironing my father’s shirts and my little dresses and the pillowcases and tablecloths and much more – she prayed. Oh, how she prayed! Her example taught me more than words that I could pray anywhere, at any time, while doing anything. What a heritage she gave me!
I read this poem recently and it reminded me of those days long ago.
I have ironed my husband's shirts, oh, very smoothly;
I wish I could as easily erase
His frowning, worried look of inattention
I cannot read the new lines in his face.
Mary lets me iron her crepes and laces;
I wonder if she thinks that Mother's hands
Would tear the fine-meshed fabric of her love dream?
I wish she knew that Mother understands.
Jack likes the finest nainsook, trim, athletic,
Next to his skin. Most finical of men,
How can he bear to waste his time on Gladys?
I wish he were a little boy again.
Oh, well! My task today is just the ironing;
But while I iron, I cannot help but pray
Dear Lord, please let me smooth my loved ones' pathways;
Please do not let them drift too far away!
__May Williams Ward.
With a grateful heart,