Tuesday, June 18, 2019

SOL Tuesday: Bird’s Eye Views of the Grand Canyon

This was the perfect SOL for last Tuesday, when my daughter and I were on a Road Scholar tour of the Grand Canyon. The day started with a flyover of the canyon in a tiny DC6, and proceeded to long walks and a visit to the Geology Museum in Grand Canyon Village, and by the end of the day I was too exhausted to write. So here it is today. Maybe I’ll do another one for today if an opportunity presents.
            Our little plane had maybe 12 people (and there was another plane with the rest of our group) and everyone had a window seat. Here is a shadow of our plane as we took off from Grand Canyon Airport (“since 1927” and they offer helicopter flights as well). 
            But it's taking a really long time to upload the videos to this blog, so I'll just add a couple more amazing, awesome, unbelievable—adjectives just don't do it justice—photos of what we saw. And I can't figure out how to move the photos so they are next to each other, so that's why layout looks so silly. (Any other Blogger users out there who know the trick?)
It’s Slice of Life Tuesday over at Two Writing Teachers. Check out this encouraging and enthusiastic writing community and their slices of life every Tuesday. And add one of your own.

Friday, June 7, 2019

52Essays New Wave #7: Ironing

            My aunt gave me this housekeeping tip many years ago: if you don’t have time to iron immediately after doing the laundry, you can wrap up the damp clothes, put them in a plastic bag, and keep in the freezer until you do have time. Of course, she was thinking the next day, perhaps, or by the end of the week. She definitely did not mean months and months and months.
            I hate to iron. When I was a teen, my mother enlisted me to help her with the ironing, which included sheets and pillow cases, and my father’s dress shirts and boxer shorts. Everything was white, boringly white. Boxer shorts had hard-to-figure-out geometry, but at least they were small.
            The dress shirts, on the other hand, were interminable. But I never forgot the approach: first iron the collar, both sides; next, the sleeves, wrists first, then the whole sleeve, both sides; third, the yoke, which you had to fold along the seam line so it would lie flat; lastly, the large right front with buttons, back, left front with buttonholes. Even in the summertime, he wore long-sleeved shirts to work, and it seemed to take forever to iron just one. Even though my mother’s ironing board was adjustable and I could sit, it was so much work. I vowed I would do as little of this chore as possible when I grew up.
            Fortunately, jersey fabrics and polyester in the 1960s and ’70s made this vow easy to keep. When I bought silk blouses, they’d go to the dry cleaners. And when Jack and I married, I made it clear I would never iron his shirts. He didn’t care; he took them to the laundry, and eventually he found a place to work where he could wear T-shirts. (My father didn’t like starch in his shirts, which is why his didn’t go to a laundry.)
            Then my aunt’s tip. By this time I had accumulated a few rayon blouses and washable silk. Ironing sometimes was required. So into the freezer they went, and a few months later, maybe when something was on TV (I was ironing when the U.S. invaded Iraq), out would coming the adjustable ironing board and iron.
            But some time ago, I washed a summer dress I had made and a blouse I bought in Montreal in 1985, packed them into the freezer, and there they stayed. For years. It’s possible they’ve been there for 10 years.
            Today, I’m packing for a trip and needed to touch up a shirt I want to wear. Why not iron those clothes in the freezer? That turned out to be harder than I thought.
            The blouse seemed frozen solid. It took at least half an hour to thaw, with the iron, and unroll it, bit by bit. The fabric doesn’t seem to have been damaged, even when I had to pull it apart—I wonder if there is liquid built into the rayon cloth.
            I should have taken a photo of it all rolled up, but you can see (1) part of it partially undone, (2) ice crystals; and (3) ironed product. I do love this shirt. Why did I leave it in the cold for so long?