Wednesday, February 6, 2013

the sad iron and the cat

Today it was announced that the sad iron Monopoly playing piece has been replaced by the cat. The sad iron is obsolete and out of date.

My Mother had a very extensive clothing iron collection.  She had all sorts of irons: ruffle iron, hat band iron, ribbon irons, tailor's irons, charcoal burners, alcohol burners, tiny toy irons, small salesmen samples, detachable handles, wood handles, and bone handles. Clothing irons made of soapstone, steel, brass, and of course iron.

I kept a few, maybe a dozen or so, the rest went to auction.

Last week I brought some to share with Mom. Maybe fifty pounds of them! It was all that I could carry at once. In the common room, I put them out on the table in front of her, I placed her hands on the different handles, I wanted to see a connection. I wanted to see her move them in an ironing motion. Most of them were so heavy that she couldn't lift them off the table.

The aides and staff stopped by to see what we were doing. They eagerly asked Mom about her collection, they too wanted to see her light-up and communicate. But, the teacher couldn't respond, the avid collector was lost. The woman who could give an hour long presentation about the history of ironing to a room full of strangers... wasn't there.
Mom couldn't speak out and provide her knowledge, to fill out my rather sketchy explanation of what a hat-band-iron is. Her breadth of knowledge was immense,  I have just been a lifelong observer.

She gave her last ironing lecture in 2005, to one of the civic groups in town. I remember helping her load the car with boxes and boxes of irons, ironing boards, books, posters, signs, and the furniture dolly. Irons are very heavy!

The Monopoly sad iron is gone, this would have made Mom sad. At least it was replaced by the cat, she loves cats!

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