This was my mom's. She used it when we had a Maytag wringer washer. I remember how the basement would smell clean like Tide and bleach when she was washing whites in near scalding water. When I was really little, we didn't have a clothes dryer and she would hang everything. I always liked her linen bag of clothes-pins. The all-wooden pins were the ones that looked like little people.
With the stick, Mom would dredge the hot, wet clothes from the washer before sending them through the wringer. That was my favorite part and by "helping" I even got my hand caught in the wringer once. I remember mom fumbling with the release catch and then worrying, but I wasn't really very hurt.
She also ironed almost everything: sheets, towels, shirts, underwear and even jeans.
I can't fathom how much work all of this must have been for my mom with a family of six. She was happy to do it for us and that's exactly why I have the stick.
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I heard a woman cry today when she first was told that her husband was gone. I know that making to ninety-four is something phenomenal and everyone has their time but there is something so desperately sad, deep and important in such a release. I don't know why, but it made me want to live their entire love and history in my head, in the flash of a second.