Evelyn Richardson

Have you noticed that since we now have electric steam irons that remove wrinkles effortlessly, more fabric has been developed that needs little or no ironing? Rarely do I get out the ironing board to touch up items that go through the laundry.

I'm glad, of course, but I can't avoid thinking how helpful it would have been to have had an iron that heated itself in those days when we had to chop wood and build a fire to heat the flatirons over and over again.

Along this line of thinking, consider how fashion and preferences have gone to droopy, clingy clothes instead of the starched, crisp look that was mandatory if we stepped out in social circles a few generations ago. It was a reflection on your personal care not to have stiff collars and wrinkle-free skirts that stood out in a flare.

When times were tough, it was not unusual for women to stay home from a gathering because they did not have a hat they felt was suitable to wear. Now, if we see someone wearing a dress-up hat, we view that as unusual, an added accessory--certainly not a necessary piece of their ensemble, in today's times when we might have more money to buy one.

How good it would have been to have had windows that stayed up without their having to be propped with a stick. If the stick was too long, it was angled across the opening; if too short, not all the air possible could blow through the screen, and we needed all we could get on hot summer nights.

Modern windows are wide and can be adjusted to maintain the best air circulation for the weather. But now we also have air conditioning, and rarely do we open the windows at all!

I well remember the importance placed on having shiny floors. Frequent wet mopping took its toll long before we got around to waxing. My mother preferred Johnson's paste wax; it produced a "deeper" shine than the liquid, she said. It required a lot more elbow grease to apply, for sure.

Waxing the floors seemed to have been my job, closely supervised, of course. The applied wax needed to dry the appropriate length of time before I began rubbing it. Too soon, and too much would rub off onto the rag.

Ahead of special occasions, my mother would announce that "we" were putting on two coats of wax. That meant an all-day job.! We saved old wool rags for the polishing; they brought about the highest gloss. The varnished wood floor around the edge of the linoleum required more labor. My knees were red for days from the kneeling.

In this era of electric effort-free buffers, we more often choose wall-to-wall carpet.

Good things may come about illogically.