Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


November 18, 2013

Cathie Shaffer: Mama’s still got it : 11/19/13

GREENUP — My ever-patient son came down the other day and fixed the dryer again. The problem was, as I expected, a busted belt.

I suggested to him that the next time it happened, I might buy a new dryer. But he is so my child.

He reminded me the belts were a little over six bucks apiece and at the current rate of about two a year, I’d have less than a hundred dollars invested in repair over 10 years.

As we were coordinating schedules for him to come look at the dryer and me to get the belt — which is only sold in selected places — I dragged the drying rack from the shed because I hate having to drag clothes to the coin laundry.

This is a pretty nice rack as they go with plastic rods instead of wood ones. It folds down to almost nothing when not in use and holds close to a full load of clothes when needed.

The drawback is that unlike my electric dryer, the clothes don’t tumble. That means — shudder — that some things must be pressed.

Yes. I was forced into the old practice of using an iron to remove wrinkles.

Lucky for me, I still had the old steam iron I used back in the day when I played at being a hausfrau. It took a little looking but I finally found it under the sink, tucked behind the mop bucket and some cleaning supplies.

Plugging it in might have been risky given its age and state of disuse. But it heated right up and even gave that sizzle that meant there was water inside. I decided it might be wise not to use that feature so I sprinkled water over the items to be ironed instead.

Yeah, I remember the days before steam irons. I grew up taking the pop bottle full of water with the shaker thing on top and dampening the clothes for my mother. She had one of those long presser things that did pillowcases and big stuff plus the regular iron for everything else.

I have always hated to iron. It doesn’t matter that I developed mad skills in pressing clothes. I have just never liked doing it.

But my grandgirl needed her scrubs pressed before she went to work. So since I have no idea where the ironing board is, I employed the old trick of laying a towel on the counter.

Luckily the girl is small so that worked. I actually kind of enjoyed watching the wrinkles go away and hanging the scrub suit on its hanger.

Kind of, you’ll notice. The second time wasn’t as much fun. And by the time I was starting on third set, I remembered why I didn’t like to iron.

Now, of course, the drying rack can go back to the shed and the iron to its hiding place at the back of the cabinet behind the sink. We are once again living in the age of luxury.

But the experience isn’t without its benefits. For one thing, it taught my grandgirls that “green” alternatives are nothing new and that mamas have been air-drying clothes for generations, starting with laying them on rocks.

And second, it reminded me that while I may know how to do things the old fashioned way, I do like my washer, dryer, microwave, blender ...

CATHIE SHAFFER can be reached at cathieshaffer@zoominternet.net

Text Only
  • Lana Bellamy: Waking up America's youth: 4/18/14

    I once read a quote by a man saying the reason today’s youth do not have the same “spunk” as youth in the past is because they do not have inspiration.

    April 17, 2014

  • Mark Maynard: Let’s just forget about it: 04/17/14

    The older I get, the more forgetful I become. Does that sound familiar?

    April 16, 2014

  • Uncovering forgotten treasures

    You know the big difference between me and a hoarder? I mean, except that you can walk through my house and there are none of the disgusting aspects of hoarding in my life.

    April 14, 2014

  • Political stories worth retelling

    With Kentucky in the midst of the political season, it’s time to share some stories I’ve heard about the art of politicking.

    April 13, 2014

  • 0413timbizcolweb.jpg Tim Preston: Great salmon; finding Dr. Amy; and more Maria: 4/13/14

    It isn’t an especially convenient location unless you happen to be going that way, and if you don’t get there within the next couple of weeks you’ll have to wait until fall to try it out, but I had the best lunch I can remember last week at one of the last places you’d likely think of when pondering where to eat.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Restaurant horror stories; garden planning tips

    In my couponing classes, I always had fun with everyone by telling them gross restaurant stories. In encouraging them to eat at home more and save their money, I was also teaching them how much cleaner it is.

    April 12, 2014

  • Feeling happy is ...

    Anyone hoping the Ashland-Huntington area will soon overtake Disney World as “the happiest place on Earth” will be waiting awhile.

    April 10, 2014

  • 0410markcol.jpg Mark Maynard: Brick House (South Ashland Florist) brings in $13K so far: 04/10/14

    Here’s a 14-name salute coming your way:

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Cannon: Take this joint, please: 04/09/14

    Some of the things that occurred during our recent week in Jamaica were unexpected and even a bit weird. I suspect those will be the things we will still clearly remember long after the memories of the hours of lying on the beach have faded. I started to mention them in last week’s column, but opted to save them until a later date in the interest of length.

    April 8, 2014

  • AARON SNYDER: March Madness, sadness for Cats

    It’s just another game. That’s the message John Calipari preached profusely throughout the 2014 NCAA tournament. It’s typical coachspeak, but Cal’s young Kentucky team clung to the step-by-step approach to produce atypical results.

    April 8, 2014