You would think that the iron and ironing board would be obsolete by now, but there are still some 100% cotton items of clothing around, and sadly, I own a few. I did downsize to a baby ironing board that you just lay on a table, but the steam iron still has its place in my household tools. You might remember reading another of my posts, This is the Way We Iron Our Clothes. You can find it in the archived section on February 22, 2013.
As a blind homemaker, ironing has not been an unpleasant task for me. I rather like the feel of a smooth surface that used to be wrinkled and creased. I like the smell of freshly ironed clothes. When my husband was in the Navy, and we lived in Charleston, SC, I took in ironing to make a little extra money and to give myself something to do while he was on duty. The Navy wives appreciated my knowing exactly where to put the creases in the dress whites, and I enjoyed ironing the sweet little dresses and shirts. $5 a basket was what I charged.
If you have never seen a blind person iron, you might think it would be a dangerous task to perform without sight. I admit, Ive had little burns, but I have a healthy respect for that iron, and Im extremely cautious. You have to have a good sense of body orientation and body memory to reach for the handle of the iron and not accidentally touch the business side. You need to have perfect awareness of how far you can push the iron from the start of the cloth to where your other hand is holding it in place.
Last night, I was ironing a pair of pants, when for some reason, I accidentally set the iron down on the edge of the board, and it fell over onto the carpeted floor. I couldnt just reach down and pick it up, because I couldnt tell if it was upside down, pointing toward me or what. I briefly thought of locating the cord and then following it along with my hand to the back of the iron, but in order to get to the cord, I would have had to step over the iron. Since I couldnt judge the exact location of the iron, I grabbed the pants, folded them into a pot holder type shape, and gingerly approached the iron, much like how I would find something nasty that a dog might leave on the floor. I had to move quickly though, for fear of the scorching of the carpet. Feeling through the loosely formed pot holder, I found the handle and the crisis was over. No schorchd carpet. No burned skin. No problem. Back to work. Only this time, be more careful about where the iron should be placed while rearranging the cloth. Youd think Id know that by now.