Out with the old, in with the new…
When I was a child in New Orleans, we had some wonderful women who came into our lives to help create order out of the chaos that comes with rearing six children in one household. Mind you, this was back in the days before microwave ovens, fast food and polyester blends, much less computers, crock pots and Roomba vacuum cleaners.
Think about the task of washing clothes for this many people, including boys who played on sports teams. I think we actually had a clothes line to dry clothes at first, but I need to ask Mom to clarify that. I recall that it was in what we called the “dog yard”, a fenced in area that the dog always escaped from. The rabbit hutches were out there, and we also grew vegetables in that space.
Think about the task of ironing the clothes for this many people, including starching slips for four little girls (I HATED those itchy petticoats!). I believe that even our sheets got ironed. Probably our underwear, too.
Just to add a extra element of hardship, we didn’t have air conditioning in that house for some time; there was a window unit or two, but central air? Nope. Think about how hot it must have been to do wash, cook, iron, etc.
Cooking for this many people must have been daunting. Mom did her fair share, but I know she relied on Helen, and later, Rachel, to help get dinner on the table night after night. We all had chores, as well, but the really hard work was done by Helen and Rachel.
Helen was African American, as was Rachel, who was light skinned; it would be interesting to know her heritage. Rachel is the one I’m thinking about tonight as we are about to replace all our major kitchen appliances.
For you see, every day when Rachel headed home in her enormous pale green car (vintage 1940’s), she would call out, “Goodbye old washing machine! Goodbye old ironing board!” and so on as she took leave.
And so I bid fond adieu to my oven/range, refrigerator and dishwasher. All are decades old, and have served us well. It was just “time”. Each has had issues, but nothing like a major failure. So it is a very strange concept for me to replace something that isn’t really broken.
(Miss Frugal here… )
It’s actually the first time in my life that I have indulged in getting something new just to “upgrade” things. I’m a little anxious about leaving my comfort zone and learning how to work all these newfangled appliances; Joel was reading to me tonight about the different burners on the range and what they each do.
Wait, did I know this when we bought them? Here I am envisioning ruined meals all because I used the wrong burner. And then there’s the issue of not wanting to mess up the spanking new appliances; they are just so pristine looking!
Too late now. My task at hand is to empty the refrigerator (transfer things to the auxiliary fridge in the laundry room); the old oven is already outside, and the dishwasher still has a few loads to do before d-day (delivery day).
The last thing to do will be to dismantle my refrigerator “archive” of photos, clippings, artwork, cartoons and the interesting magnets themselves. It’s time to retire many items in this collection, but the classics will continue on the laundry room fridge, which will now look quite festive.
I don’t know why I feel so disloyal for abandoning the old equipment; it’s not like they have feelings or personalities. But because I do, it is with a great deal of sentiment that I bid adieu to my hard working trio… Goodbye old refrigerator. Goodbye old stove, Goodbye old dishwasher!