No washing machine...means washing all by hand!
Us youngsters tend to forget, that in our Grandmothers' day, hardly anyone had an automatic washing machine. We take it for granted that we can press a few buttons and voila, one hour later our clothes are washed. I admit, that I love that whole wash-cycle too. Hanging washing on the line is so very therapeutic. Gosh, even our cat loves watching when I hang washing.
But we wash too much and too quickly. How often are our clothes still clean-ish and could be worn another day? A very nice lady who is in the privileged over 80's club, told me that she worries about society and the prolific wasting of resources. Water etc. What a pioneer. She knows how precious life and nature is and only shakes her head at how some of us waste it.
One of her ideas brought on an " aha " moment for me.
" If people had to wash their laundry by hand, they would not throw their clothes so quickly in the hamper. "Remember, she is of a generation, that brought up children without the luxury of Pampers nor washing machines. No, she had to still fire up the stove ( with wood, I might add ) and boil big pots of water for the laundry. Then, each item was rubbed vigorously over the washboard. ( Ah, yes, a washboard that is the patron name giver of men's flat stomachs... ) One item at a time!
You know, back then having more than one child was the norm. Heck, eight was standard! Think about this: The chances are that at least two of the children were at the nappy stage at the same time. Nappy stage means changing at least 5 times a day and no, not a throw away pamper but a nappy that needed to be washed out, boiled and reused. Take a moment and imagine that work load. True maternal love indeed.
Most of the washing was done either on Saturday or late in the evenings. A Farmer's wife especially had a lot of work back then. Tending the fields, feeding & milking cows, cooking meals and oh so much more. I must say, I am in awe of how women ran their households and lives. Puts all of us ' modern ' women to shame. We, who are so spoiled by modern contraptions.
Is our convenient household-lifestyle speeding up the depletion of nature and its resources?
- Imagine how much water we would save if we wore our clothes more than once or twice before throwing it in the wash.
- Imagine how much less chemicals gunge would be pumped out into the grid. Yes, I am pretty sure that those nice and clean smelling bubbles aren't very beneficial to our environment.
- Our clothes would last longer and we might not replace them as often. Mainly towels and bedding etc.
- Our electricity and water bills would be much lower.
I don't know about you, but the next time I throw anything in the wash, I will take a moment to say a silent thank you because I don't have to wash it by hand...