Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Dreaded Enemy

Today I was thinking about the mountain of laundry needing to be done and was tempted to complain. Instead, I decided to repost this blog entry. My poor blog needs some attention.

Laundry. The dreaded enemy. The never ending pile of dirty clothes. Laundry and I may never be best friends but I do consider myself to be blessed. After all, I have an automatic washer and dryer in the same little laundry room. My washing machine is hooked up to both the cold and hot water faucets. I can wash and dry a lot of laundry in just one day if I need or want to. This wasn't always the case.

Twelve years ago, we lived in Brasov, Romania. I considered myself fortunate to have an American washing machine. Never mind the fact that there was only cold water to wash in. It did the job well enough. In the winter, the water was really, really cold. And we only had powdered detergent. After a couple of loads that ended up covered with the undissolved powder, I learned to microwave a bowl full of water, stir in some detergent and put that in the washer. I had to hang the clothes to dry inside the house for most of the year. We had a little clothesline above the bathtub and a dryer rack usually sat near our huge terra cotta heater. No, it wasn't the most convenient arrangement. But it was better than it was when we first moved into that house. It was a small house and certainly not made for a large American washing machine. It took John a few weeks to figure out how and where to install it. Meanwhile, we did laundry in the bathtub and wrung it out by hand. I say "we" because John helped immensely. I was 2 months pregnant and very ill.

The first few months in that house were difficult in many ways. But it was a relief from what we had just been through during our first two months in Romania. Much of it is a nightmare that I try to forget but since laundry is the topic of the day, I will address that aspect. We lived in one room of a Romanian family's house for our first few weeks. They had a small washer but it was usually broken. When it worked, it was constantly in use by them. So I washed clothes in the tub. But there was nowhere to dry them. The family had a clothesline but it was always filled with clothes, wet clothes. It rained almost every day that we were there. So I washed socks, underwear and anything else that just couldn't be worn one more time and hung them on the radiator, backs of chairs and bedposts, hoping they would dry in the damp weather.

Laundry is still an almost daily affair here in our house in the States. We generally do a load or two 6 days a week (and several on the weekends when John returns from the State Police academy). This time the "we" includes the kids. It's not my favorite chore. I don't mind washing and drying so much and I actually enjoy hanging clothes on the line outside. It's the folding that I don't really enjoy. So, sometimes I forget how blessed I really am. Sometimes I complain, sigh, procrastinate. But then I remember the days when a simple thing like clean, dry socks was an enormous challenge and I thank God for all that He has blessed me with.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009