I Wuz Just Thinking: Bringing in the Sheets

When we had that many sheets to wash, I used a solar-power dryer, meaning we hung them on a clothesline in the backyard.

When I hung laundry out to dry, I would begin to sing, “bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves, I shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves….“.

Living in the country, Saturdays was “wash day”.  We did have a washing machine and dryer, but with so many clothes, towels, and sheets, the dryer was reserved for use of drying shirts, blouses, slacks, and other nicer type clothing.  The jeans, towels, and sheets were hung on long lines in the back yard for the “solar-powered dryer” to dry them.  Yes, “solar-powered”…no, we were not rich…but our “solar power” was the wonderful bright sun that beamed them whiter and whiter and allowed a wonderful scent to protrude in each sheet and pillow case.

We lived in a trailer that was not all that large with three bedrooms that were not even the size of today’s closets.  In the smallest room, two sons slept on stacked army bunk beds.

Betty Mahurin Baker

Another bedroom, a little larger, held two stacks of bunk beds which slept the other four sons. On the opposite end of the house was the master bedroom.  Total 14 sheets…two sheets, top and fitted sheets per bed.  That is a lot of sheets to wash and dry in one day.

After the long day of doing laundry, it was time to place on hangers, the shirts, blouses, and slacks. Now from the lines to the folding of the towels, washcloths, and kitchen towels. I would take the wooden clothes pins from the jeans, fold and hand them to the individual they fit so the jeans could be put away.

Now it was time to gather the sheets.

I love to sing, whistle, and hum when I work.

I would begin to sing, “bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves, I shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves….“.

The next day, Sunday, the family of eight piled into the big blue Ford van and went to church.   During the beginning song service, one of the songs being directed….had the same tune and similar words to what the boys had heard me sing in the back yard only the evening before.

Some of our sons are quite proud of their strong voices and loved to really bellow out “praises.”  There they were, just a beat or two ahead of the director’s hand motions, and ahead of the singing of the rest of the congregation.  I was hearing, “Bringing in the SHEETS, bringing in the SHEETS, we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the SHEETS! ”  Each time the word SHEETS was said, the next one seemed to get louder and louder, each son trying to “out-sing” the others. The boys loved this song….they were just smiling, looking at each other, and having body dance movements that may not have been actually appropriate in this particular setting.

A mother can get pretty perplexed when several hundred eyes are turned toward you.  Church of Christ members sing acapella, so no chance for the piano or organ to play louder and faster to cover up this sextet who were singing as if they had their own special choir.

Fearing what the other songs may have brought on, the music director cut the song-praise service a little shorter than what was written on the hand-out program.

Yes, on the way home in that big blue van, parental words were spoken as I wuz jus’ thinkin.

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