Blood, Sweat, and Tears

"Writing styles are not easy to come by, they are forged by fire, they are cooled by the tears of ones own eyes, and they are oiled by the authors own blood; sheathing that style is an entirely new level of pain." - Shy willow

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tools of the Trade

Thinking back to the hours that I spent with my mother as she cooked, gardened, cleaned, and sewed.

As a child I loved watching my mom iron clothing as she would recall out loud some of her childhood memories. Although these memories were not typically wonderful, it was still amazing to have that connection that I still value today. 

I am sure you have already guessed that I grew to enjoy ironing. Years passed and I ironed shirts, pants, dresses, Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer's Training Corps uniforms, iron transfers, material that was turned into very exciting curtains and clothing, and other exciting materials. 

Shortly after I married Conan I was gifted a very pretty iron, I say pretty because it sported my favorite color. This particular iron had a very useful automatic cord winding button, a lovely spray and steam option, and lasted me for years.

For years I have hated ironing! The satisfaction of crisp clothing used to be enough to motivate me to complete an entire basket of laundry, however I found each piece taking longer, and ironing became a dread. I soon found myself collecting clothing straight from the dryer to place on hangers in order to completely avoid the chore all together.

Obviously this was a problem in many areas. First, why am I not happy doing one of my favorite chores? Secondly, it makes matters worse because now I am not happy with how my family looks in their clothing, and I feel that I am not doing my best to take care of them.

Over the past several years that Conan and I have been married we have had countless discussions about tools and the vast difference between quality tools and the long term cost of inferior tools. 

The tool is something used to make our lives easier. When a tool does not preform the way we expect it tends to have the opposite effect; our particular job becomes more difficult and in some cases it can cause our daily lives to become more difficult.

Getting back to the iron. Recently I was talking to my mother about her desire to replace her current iron with the good old reliable version she had in my childhood memories. She located this particular iron, which I have to say is very simple compared to its competitors, and was looking to find it with a spraying option.
Copyright: Jenn Grossi
A Mom's Handbook

A few days later I decided that I needed to get over my ironing slump. I set up my dusty ironing board, pulled out the iron I had put away in a shelf, heated it up and was off to the races. I still was not enjoying ironing but I determined my sentiment to be a result of my being out of practice. Finishing one shirt was painful, however things got better as I continued, into the second of my husbands shirts my iron started to loose pieces of plastic.

On the third shirt not only did I loose more plastic on nearly every pass but a couple of cute little screws fell with the shrapnel as well. At this point I deemed my iron a safety hazard, shut down the operation, and threw it out!

Shopping for a new iron was an evil necessity. As much as I would have rather avoided ironing I knew I needed to conquer my more recent ironing affliction. Ironically I found the iron my mother and I had be discussing, it was priced right in the middle of the iron price range, had very little plastic to speak of, no easy cord-winding super button, and when I gazed upon it my heart was happy. Who knew the right "tool" could have sentimental value? We bought it!

The day following the purchase of my new iron I wasted little time getting started. The iron heated quickly, was extremely hot, steamed like a dream, and I flew through the two baskets of ironing in less time then it took me to do 4 shirts with the old "fancier" iron.  Aside from it having superior and sentimental qualities, I found myself enjoying ironing again, I saw the fruit of my labor in the crisp fabrics, I enjoy the smell of the laundry that the steam raised for my enjoyment, and my heart smiled as my minds eye drew pictures from the abyss of my mother and I so many years ago.


Jenn

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