Today was ironing day. No electric irons here. The irons were heated directly on the wood range, necessitating a good hot fire. Today the extra heat was welcome in the house. Ina also took advantage of the warm oven to make more cinnamon raisin bread as a mid-morning treat.
|Shirley at clothesline in '30s|
Ironing was tiring work -- lifting a heavy iron from the stove, quickly smoothing the fabric, then exchanging the cooled iron for a hot one and smoothing again. Because the day was short, an early start wasn't possible. Shirley, always a cheerful, uncomplaining worker, agreed to do the ironing so that Ina could finish the rag doll.
So, Ina sat at the dining room table sewing yarn “hair” onto the doll’s head. Oh yes! She was shaping up nicely, and Ina was having a good time. Just then she looked up from her work to see an elderly couple coming through the gate. “Now who would call on a Tuesday,” she exclaimed. Then recognizing their neighbors, she said to Shirley, “Is the coffee still hot? Mr. and Mrs. Boehm are coming to the door.”
Ina was a methodical housekeeper and never minded impromptu callers, but everyone knew that Tuesday was ironing day when a housewife wouldn't appreciate interruption. The Boehms surely had a particular reason to call today. Ina waited politely until she heard the knock at the front door. Then she cordially invited the Boehms into the warmth of her dining room. Mr. Boehm declined and excused himself to find Jack at the barn.
“Oh, Ina,” said Mrs. Boehm, “we can’t stay. Please forgive my calling on ironing day, but Bertha said Ethel is coming for Christmas and you’re making a doll for little Sadie. And Ina, I just wondered if you could use these fabric scraps for doll clothes. Lots of them are from feed sacks, but there are a few others as well.”
|Ina and sister Bertha|
Sometimes Ina was impatient with Bertha’s gossip, but this time she silently blessed her.
True to their word, the Boehms didn’t stay long. Mr. Boehm soon returned to the house to retrieve his wife. Over their protests, Ina put some of Sunday’s pot roast into a quart jar and slipped it into Mrs. Boehm’s satchel, knowing that the dear old couple could use a prepared meal. As they left, Ina invited them to dinner on Christmas Day, and the Boehms gladly accepted.
After the callers departed, Ina finished sewing yarn onto the dolls head and then braided it. Tomorrow she would embroider the doll’s face. KW