Time for Retirement

As I carried it down the driveway, thoughts raced through my head. I placed the stiff legs upright next to the green garbage can. I smoothed the tattered, burned cover, tucking a loose string into a crevice. I patted the still surface quietly thanking this household appliance for all its service over fifteen years’ time.

ironing_boardIt had always proudly stood in my clothes closet. Erect and ready to serve as a platform for my weekly task. The silver cover was the last of many that had bedecked the hard surface. Actually, three irons had graced the surfaces over the years. Blemished by leaving the hot appliances facedown too long, burn marks were varied along its four-foot length.

Always available, the board had helped ready many outfits to be worn by my husband and me. Handkerchiefs, leisure slacks, long skirts, shell tops and cozy sweaters had bedecked the surface. All of them had been wrinkled when placed in position but when taken off-beautiful and smooth. Waiting hangers proudly displayed each item as I finished my chores.

The starch can that dealt instant crispness looked lonely on the kitchen shelf this morning. One of my duties today was to go and purchase another ironing board. I am sure the styles have changed since the purchase of this one. I am sure that the covers will yield flowered patterns or colorful fabric.

I could put the board up blindfolded! It had held and helped make ready many fancy party dresses and dress shirts. It had held crumpled hankies in place while I smoothed them with a very hot iron. When finished, my husband would place one in his trouser pocket to be used during the day, bringing to mind the beautiful hankies held by royal ladies when that fashion was at its peak. However, no more for us in modern times.

As I finish these thoughts, the new ironing board is leaning on a closet wall. I know it, like its predecessor, will help to keep our clothes fresh and crisp. Therefore, I need to say, “thank you to the old board and hello to the new one.” Their importance can only be measured by how nice we look in our clothes as we dress for another day.

About the Author

Maryann Hartzell-Curran, a retired educator and counselor, has written a personal account of her journey through the first year of grieving the loss of her husband in her book, “From We to Me,” to help support those who have suffered the loss of a loved one. Maryann founded a successful family therapy practice and taught in the public and private sectors. She also founded and directed a church-based preschool in Lombard, Ill., and gained experience working with the elderly as director of a senior dining center. She has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in counseling from Illinois Benedictine University.

Comments (1)

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  1. Nancy Stevens says:

    I think I will have to think about this next time I use my old ironing board. Yours had a lot of history, I think mine must have a long history too. Thanks for sharing