A Woman’s Work

PHOTO PROMPT © Valerie J. Barrett

The wood stove was stoked, already red hot. Anna had filled the kettle with water. The steam indicated it was time to pour the water over the coffee she had ground at sunrise. She looked forward to sitting down for a few minutes, savoring the richness of the brew.

The old iron was heating, nearly ready to attack the sprinkled laundry waiting to be pressed to attention.

Later, she would use the ladle to stir her apple butter. The aromas of coffee, freshly ironed shirts, and apple butter would lull her to sleep later, a day well-lived.


62 thoughts on “A Woman’s Work

  1. Well told! I suddenly feel very lazy just sitting here working my mouse. 😉
    I’m seriously humbled when I think of the amount of work those ladies got through, and still had time in the evenings for the intricate handwork they produced!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, what a satisfying description! It brought up the days when I’d be sitting in the kitchen, spritzing water on the to-be-ironed laundry through a plastic bottle that had hold drilled in its cap, and rolled the items to wait the ironing that followed. There would usually be something mixed on the stove by my mom or one of my siblings. Domestic tasks that had their own reward.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. 🙂 Ours wasn’t a coke bottle but an old powder bottle … with some of the holes slightly enlarged. Though if we needed something else to sprinkle, we’d use a heated needle or nail (depending on the size of the holes we needed) to make holes in a soda bottle cap.
        Being resourceful was part of every day. Not everything was good memories, but those are.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right. And it’s one of the most primary senses we have, stored forever in the amygdala. There are smells you recognize immediately, even if a lot of time has passed.


    1. Yes. We got a new-to-us car the other day. Yesterday I set up my cell phone to sync with the car. And I thought, “We never needed all these bells and whistles back in the day. It was easier then.”

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think most of us don’t do much ironing today. But their fabrics were not wrinkle-proof. My mother-in-law used to iron bed sheets! Glad I don’t feel compelled to do that 🙂


    1. You are, sadly, correct. We still cook almost every day, and have never done much take-out even when I was working full time and had four kids and Terry to feed. Times have changed!


    1. I think, because they didn’t have all the fancy equipment we know now, that if the relationship was good, the work was less of a chore. It’s hard for us to put ourselves back in that time. Everything has changed so much in the last 120+ years, and largely because of the availability of electricity. Housework today is easy in comparison.

      Liked by 1 person

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