Memories and Ironing

This morning I was ironing a shirt for my husband to wear to work. Don’t be impressed, it’s only because there was nothing else clean and my husband was born too long ago to be domestic.

Anyway, as I was ironing, memories flooded back into my mind of my friend, Linda. Linda was our neighbor when I was growing up. I was just 11 years old when I met Linda, her husband, Ernie, and their one-year-old daughter, Alicia. A few years later, they had another beautiful daughter, Kristin. Linda was a mentor in my life, and I regularly played with and babysat her girls. Sadly, Linda died over ten years ago from metastasized breast cancer.

Why then, did my ironing make me think of Linda? It’s simple. It was Linda who taught me how to iron. My own mother avoided ironing like the plague. Now she just makes certain that her clothes are permanent press. I saw my mother iron a few times, but I don’t think she really had a method. Linda had a method; first, the yoke area (top of the shirt) all the way around, then the body of the shirt starting with the left front section, next the sleeves and lastly, the collar. The theory was that you would move it around by holding the collar thus avoiding getting everything wrinkled before you finished ironing it. I know some people have different methods of ironing shirts, but in my mind, they are just wrong.

Of course, Linda’s patient teaching paid off for her big time. As I grew older, I babysat for them often. After I put the kids to bed I would often get kind of bored, so I’d pull out Linda’s ironing pile and iron away. By then, I’d already done the dishes and, since there wasn’t cable television, not much else was available to entertain me.

The next day, of course, I’d walk two miles, in the snow, uphill to school. Oh, wait, we didn’t have snow in Whittier, California. It just seemed like an old person type of thing to say and after the “no cable television” comment, I was feeling kind of old.

Anyway, I just think it’s kind of cool the way certain activities remind you of people who have been an important part of your life. Linda was an amazing mother, a godly woman, and a great friend who taught me so much. I miss her terribly. Occasionally, I get the opportunity to speak into her daughter’s lives they way she spoke into mine. What an incredible blessing!

Oh, by the way, I also think of Linda when I eat (or try to eat) broccoli. She told me, before she died, that broccoli would help prevent breast cancer. I wonder if it still has the same benefits once I dip it in some ranch dressing?

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