Fern Ridge-Tribune News
Sweet Lorane Community News
September 30, 2021
By Pat Edwards
Once again, I have begun packing bags for another trip… this time for both Jim and me, and our daughter, Gloria, is accompanying us. Some time ago, we were invited to attend the wedding of Jim’s niece, Caitlin Edwards, who is the daughter of Jim Edwards, Jim’s namesake nephew and his wife Theresa who live near Kansas City, Missouri. We’ve been hoping to be able to reciprocate their attendance at our granddaughter’s wedding several years ago, but were unsure what the COVID situation would be by October. Since the three of us are fully-vaccinated, and since Jim and I are scheduled to get our booster shot before we leave, we made our reservations.
This past week, I’ve been trying to figure out what we will wear to the wedding. It will take place in, I assume, a large, Catholic church in Kansas City. Almost every wedding we’ve attended in many years has been an outdoor, fairly-informal affair, so I’ve been struggling to figure out what we can pack and wear at this more formal event without having to go out and buy new duds that we’ll probably never have occasion to wear again. I’ve been going through closets that I haven’t visited for awhile, and found two garment bags hanging at the back of one. In them both were memories of times gone by. One contained the beautifully preserved medium-blue suit that Jim wore to present one of our daughters in a pageant that she participated in as a teen. I zipped that one back up. Even though I knew that he’d still look splendid in it, I figured that, after 40-some years, the color, at least, was probably out of date. I then unzipped the other to find a much newer navy blue sports jacket, gray slacks, a dress shirt and his favorite tie. Perfect!
After laundering the shirt, I got out my iron which hasn’t seen much use over more recent years. As I began the familiar routine of ironing the collar, sleeves, front and back, a flood of memories came back to me.
My mother, bless her heart, kept house beautifully when my sister and I were growing up. She cleaned our rooms, fixed our meals, sewed and ironed our clothes for us and provided us a happy childhood that didn’t include much instruction on how she did it all. My sister, B.J., took after her; I did not. I was the teenage daughter that worked outdoors on our farm, hoeing, irrigating, and row-bossing the 5 acres of strawberries and 15 acres of pole beans on our farm in Lebanon, while B.J. stayed in the house and helped fix meals for the rest of us.
When I went away to college at Linfield in 1960, I became friends with Connie (who I just visited in Montana), and we were needing to find a way to make some spending money. We came up with a great idea of offering to iron shirts for the boys at Mac Hall, across the green from our dorm. I think we charged a ridiculous amount of $.50 a shirt and because we were all required to dress up for Sunday dinners at the Commons, we lined up some regular customers. The trouble was, both Connie and I were farm girls, and neither of us had really learned how to iron properly. By the time we had earned about $3.00 each, we came to the conclusion that we’d better give up on the idea of becoming rich at our new venture and our business came to a screeching halt.
Remembering this story made today’s ironing task much easier. Jim is going to look great. As for me, the dresses that I considered either no longer fit or have gone out of style. I’m going to take the easy way out by wearing black slacks and a dressy blouse. I understand that black is always in style… just never wear white to a wedding.
We’re ready! Kansas City, here we come!