Thursday, September 13, 2012

Things That Make Me Ache from Happiness - Exhibit A


I adore ironing.
I'm always ironing for someone I love - and that makes me so happy I ache.
I love the sound and smell of the steam.
I love starch.
I love taking messy things and making them neat.
I love folding warm pillowcases and hanging warm shirts.
I love taking care of people I love.
My mom was a world class ironer. The ironing board was never put away - she ironed everything - pillowcases, pajamas, dishclothes, even our bras.
True story.
Maybe that's why I love it so - it reminds me of her.
I'm the proud owner of that ironing board.  Every time I take it out and it squeaks when I open it - I'm a kid again - standing at that ironing board on a cold Chicago morning as my mom would iron my shirt right before I put it on - so it would be warm.
I'd eat my oatmeal as my socks warmed in the oven.
I so want to nurture my family like that - it's the little things y'all.
The little things.
Today when I was ironing, I looked down and saw my mother's hands.
The ropey veins, the long skinny fingers.
My hands definitely show the years of work I've put around this old farm house - and I wear them like badges of honor.
The spirit of a homemaker is in every woman - I truly believe it.
Apron that thing up and wear it with pride.


  1. Awww... I think this is my favorite post.


  2. i'm so glad that I am not the only person that enjoys ironing!

  3. Never met am ironing board that didn't squeak. LOL And a squirt of WD-40 would just ruin the experience.

  4. Never met an ironing board I wanted to make friends with...LOL...
    I'm sorry, I am a terrible terrible iron-er. I just hate it, and so we don't wear much that needs ironing. But I do love homemaking, and I really love your childhood memories and the sentiment that comes along with them.

    And ah yes, the hands. *sigh* Mine too.

  5. It's a good thing that you don't live here and depend on ironing as your sign that I love you. LOL I do not like to iron and what compounds it even more is that I am a total perfectionist with ironing. I have had people tell me that I iron shirts better than a cleaners. If I was a slob about it, I probably wouldn't dislike it so much. It is neat that you equate ironing with loving your family. For me it is canning, getting good bargains on food and other stuff for our home, and fixing food that everyone likes.

  6. Your mother is always with you, when you look at your hands you see her love. Me too!!

  7. Beautiful post!! I can feel the warmth.

  8. Kindred Spirits girl- I'm tellin' ya!! I also love to iron and have expressed it often in much the same terms- to which most of my family just rolls their eyes and chuckles! However- they do love the neatness of it!

  9. Love exudes! Im not an ironing kinda gal but I too love to " love on" my family! My kids ask for warmed up clothes from the dryer every morning! I hope they know how much I love them and remember the small things years from now!

  10. You have a way with words that can take you back in time. Thank you. I also wanted to tell you that you were the subject of my post today and I hope you don't mind me talking about you. You are my inspiration.

  11. i felt like i would know when i was getting older when i looked at my hands & saw that look ... well, they are slowly getting there... soon i will see my mother's hands as well. mean you have CHARACTER. fun!

    if you enjoy ironing ... call me any time... i have plenty that needs to be ironed. my issue is it always seems that i make more wrinkles than when i started. ha. ha!! maybe in time i will become more of a great ironer ... do you give lessons? synchronized ironing. let's get a group started. (:

  12. Serving others = happiness, even if it is just ironing for your family. It is an act of service. It's all about perspective, isn't it? I may not "enjoy" the physical act of ironing but I can certainly serve my husband by ironing his clothes and that makes me very happy!! :)

  13. I love this post! I like home making, I like to wash dishes and fold laundry and cook from scratch. Look at what your mom taught you with her love. I am feeling it lady!
    big stinkin grin on my face

  14. Aww, I just love this. Thanks for sharing such sweet memories of your past.


  15. so sweet! cherished memories<3

  16. I love to iron, too, Jayme. I iron most stuff! My hands look like my others did, too. xo Diana

  17. I don't know what's wrong with me... I have the squeeky ironing board, I have a Rowenta "can do tricks" iron, I even have a full size steamer that makes it easy as pie to hang a shirt and steam away the wrinkles. But I hate it, I REALLY hate ironing. Maybe I'm low in some kind of vitamin or mineral. I bet that's it... cause my hands look way older!

  18. When I looked at that picture, I thought it was my hand!! I, too love ironing and taking care of my family...two legged and four legged!

  19. sniff're gonna make my cry. My hands are bigger than my moms, but I do have memories of her ironing....every Monday...even when she worked full time. SHe'd set the iron up in the living room so she could watch tv with us and iron away. Me..I iron it before I put it on.

    Cindy Bee

  20. Beautiful post Jayme! I love the smell of starch too, especially on pillowcases! :)
    My mom always ironed in the living room while us kids watched cartoons. I remember one day I looked up at my mom ironing and there were tears running down her cheeks, it was the day President Kennedy was shot. I was 4 years old, and I think this is probably one of my earliest memories. Every time I iron I think of that day.

  21. A lovely post. Mama always ironed in the living room, and she, too, ironed everything. I don't iron much anymore, but it brings back memories when I do. I am older now than my mother was when she died, my hands are much larger than hers, but I will never forget the love she put into everything she did.

  22. Thanks for sharing your smile with me tonight. It made me smile right back!

  23. This is my favorite post ever! What love, what in the simplicity of domesticity. I feel just like you do...except when I'm ironing...I don't iron well. But I love to do all the rest!!!
    I love it that you have your mama's hands...what a blessing!

  24. I love memories that take you back :) ironing not so much lol If I ironed everything we have in my large family Id be ironing for hours everyday!! its all I can do to get the 3 loads of laundry washed daily :)

  25. I too love to iron, thought I don't do as much of it as I used to. When I worked, each morning I'd iron the outfit I was going to wear plus my son's school uniform.

    Part of the reason I love to iron is I remember my mom teaching me to iron - she started me out ironing my father's handkerchiefs. Plus I'm an instant gratification girl at times, so ironing does it for me!

  26. Thank you. This is my favorite!

    Laura, Sacramento CA.

  27. Fortunately (or unfortunately), I didn't get the "ironing gene" from my mother, who was indeed a great ironer. I remember standing in the basement watching her as she pulled another "damp" item from her laundry basket. She had this funky "sprinkler thingie" that she used to dampen each article before she ironed it. I guess this was prior to "steam irons." Anyway, I, too, learned to iron my dad's handkerchiefs. Thanks for stirring up that memory, Jayme! My mom actually had a 4-year degree from a Georgia woman's college in Home Economics . . . I'm sure those degrees are long gone from the curriculum. And although I can't remember precisely, I'm sure she was standing in a cotton "house dress" wearing sensible shoes as she ironed - no jeans for the '50s housewife! Thanks for the memories! ~Patysue

  28. Jayme,
    Your Mama sounds much like my Grammy when it comes to ironing! She too ironed everything -- including my Da's boxers.
    Your Friend,

  29. I hate ironing but I do love things that bring back memories of times past!

  30. I was walking with my youngest grandson a couple years back so he was around 8 or 9 years old. He looked down at my hand holding his and asked, "What's wrong with your hand, Grandma?" "Well, nothing, Samuel. It's just getting old." He was clearly embarresed and does not like to hurt anyone's feelings. He hesitated for a minute and then whispered, "You've had that arm a long time!"

    Sweet, sweet boy!!

  31. My friends call me I've never met someone else who is passionate in ironing besides my sister, (she irons sheets!) and now you!!!
    I find ironing so very therapeutic also!
    Enjoyed reading your post!!!

  32. I could have written this sentiment - it's how I feel! It's wonderful to know that there are others out there who just want to take care of their families!


  33. Thank you for the heartwarming post.

  34. What a sweet post Jayme.
    Being a Homemaker is the ultimate act of love.

    Whether it's ironing, folding clothes, or cooking when you do it with love it makes it sew much better. . . I was "just" Ü a homemaker most of my life, and that's all I wanted to be, I have no regrets it was the best life ever.

    Sew, we need to pass that along to young at home homemakers who have days of feeling that they are "just" a homemaker . . . it's an act of love, its all an act of love, ...

    My Mom has two favorite sayings, one is "Things work out" and the other is "Do everything with Love"

    Thanks for such a heartwarming post!!

  35. I love your homemaking spirit and I am inspired by it.
    Thanks for sharing. And now I just might put up my old iron ironing board that my hubby bought me from a 90 year old church member that was HER mother's. I love it; it is heavy and even has a wood top. It's not going to break or fall down like those cheap ones!

  36. Oh I love to iron too! I love to watch old Hitchcock movies and just iron away. It feels like therapy to me!

  37. I loved this post. What a wonderful mother you had.

    Just recently found your blog. I lived in northern Indiana for about ten years, near Gary, many years ago. That lake-effect snow was something else! Then we moved back "home", near Bartlesville, OK.


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