I did something this morning that was so like my little Mawmaw. I’ve been smiling about it ever since.
Having been born in 1899, you can imagine that Mawmaw didn’t grow up with, or even spend most of her adult life, with the modern conveniences we all take for granted. She never had a washdisher or a deep freezer. The modern appliances in her kitchen consisted of an electric percolator, a “frigidaire”, and a toaster. Pawpaw always preferred toast over biscuits at every meal.
After a time, it was decided that Mawmaw was getting a bit long in the tooth to be manhandling the wringer washing machine and two number 10 washtubs before hanging the laundry out to dry. So, Ol’ Man Wright bought her an automatic washing machine and a drying machine and put them right inside the very house! In the kitchen, no less!
To say that Lucy was less than enamored by the new-fangled machines would be an understatement of biblical proportions. As I used the machine to wash and dry my hospital uniforms, Mawmaw would pretend to be doing something else in the kitchen, so she could watch me. “That machine’s going to tear up your clothes, boy!” I assured her it wouldn’t.
After I popped my shiny white uniforms out of the dryer and onto hangers with nary a wrinkle in sight, I could tell she was impressed. Would she say so? Certainly not!
She slowly came around, of course. First, she allowed it would probably be alright to wash Ol’ Man Wright’s overalls and my blue jeans in the machine. The denim was pretty durable, so not likely to be destroyed by the machines. It gave Pawpaw and me great joy when we finally saw her putting her own clothes in the laundry. It had taken some time, but we had finally won her over.
Now, what was it she did that I caught myself doing this morning? Well, I had put in a load of pants to wash last night. When I started to put them in the dryer this morning, I saw they had become all tangled and twisted. I swear, they looked as if they had come out of a dog’s mouth! So, I shook out as many wrinkles as I could and neatly folded them before laying them in the dryer.
All at once, the memory came back to me. I saw Mawmaw doing that very thing every week.
“Maw, why are you folding those clothes before you put them in the dryer?”
“Well, boy, I don’t want them to be wrinkled when they come out!”
History repeats itself.