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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Laundry

I realized today that I will never finish my laundry.

It will always been there, if only one washcloth or one pair of pants....it seems that the basket will never be emptied.

I told this to Jake and he said, "imagine if you had even more children or if you had to wash it all by hand." So, I did just that. I tried to picture myself with more children and doing all my laundry by hand. At first I saw myself being very overwhelmed and frustrated because it took so long, and because it was such hard work, but then I got a little romantic about it and saw my children all around me, playing in the water, trying to be "helpers", running through the bed sheets while they hang to dry. There's a lot of fun to be had with the clothesline wouldn't you say? Looking back, I am amazed at my own Mother and all the hard work she must have done with having 8 children and the clothes that come with them! I suppose a good Mother will work herself out of a job...in that she raised us to be able to fend for ourselves, both in the world and in the laundry room. I remember our laundry room being so full of light. There were windows all around the room which made the work more enjoyable. Even here at our home, it is very similar, 6 windows surround our washer and dryer. I think laundry rooms should be nicely decorated, (if possible). It doesn't take much to add a little love into the laundry room; a shabby sign that says "laundry" or placing your powdered detergent into glass jars, or clothespins into a mason jar.
I mean, if you're going to spend so much time in there, you might as well like what you're looking at. Anyway, back to my doing the laundry by hand....I have no idea what all that would entail, but my Mom does and my Mother-in-law. For one, they didn't have disposable diapers, so that's a whole days work right there, oh....no thank you!!!! NO wonder the children were potty trained much earlier....makes for less work. When I was in India for several months we had to do our laundry by hand, I found that I was a bit more careful about my clothing, trying to keep it from getting dirty or stained. When I did have to do laundry, I actually enjoyed myself. There's something so primitive about getting your hands on your own clothing: scrubbing, wringing, squeezing, hanging out to dry. Even now, as I drive down the roads and see the Amish women putting their laundry out, usually at the crack of dawn, I am reminded of the satisfaction that comes with working hard. Another thing that Jake mentioned was that he remembered his Mother saying to him, "now don't get this dirty." She didn't want more laundry then was absolutely necessary. How quickly I throw something in the laundry pile because of one little stain!

I am connected with women in generations past by doing this act of service for my household, albeit, much easier and more efficient, but nonetheless an act of serventhood. At any given moment there is probably someone, somewhere doing laundry. Each in their own way with their own traditions, they care for their earthly possessions, be it little or a lot.
I choose to be thankful for the conveniences that I have. You know, I'm glad I have lots of laundry because that means there's life in this house.







7 comments:

Jeane` Miller said...

Beautiful pictures to correspond with beautiful musings on Laundry. Yes...how many mothers long to wash their children's clothing that no longer fill their laundry baskets. We have so much to be thankful for. (My laundry room is my 'shore room' with pictures and memorabilia from the ocean...)

You are truly a lady!
Love,
Jeane`
PS. Amidst junk mail, a delightful little note was found, opened and relished (and reread several times). Thank you for making my day!

Kara Stoltzfus said...

oh janelle, i love what you said...a sign there is "life in this house!". so true! we are blessed.

Shrish said...

Amen "Shrish"!! Rarely does a "laundry day" pass that I don't simply thank the Lord that I am ABLE to do the laundry in such an easy manner. We are blessed with organization skills, working appliances,means to fix them if they do break down, clothing and sooo much more... even sisters who would gladly have a "sisters laundry day". Hey that's a thought! :-) I love ya!! And am enjoying Tyler being here today. Shrish

trucecrew said...

Hey Janelle, how true! my machine is humming along as I write. You can bet it will be back in full swing Monday, especially after a weekend without me:) Livin' for the weekend!

trucecrew said...

I guess I just wrote my first blog comment. I know I'm a little slow to figure this all out. Your site is creative and fun.
Von

Bess said...

Hi Janelle,
I love reading your blog, and we don't even know each other! :) (Actually, I know who you are through Kara and your siblings, but never met you.) Anywho, I love your musings and inspirational wisdom. Thanks for reminding us of how blessed we really are!

Fan said...

Reading your descriptive blogs makes me nostalgic for that early mothering stage of life--you do such a great job of finding the positive and the fun in the "daily-ness" of life. It's one of your strong points and I love that about you!

I can almost hear mom saying the same thing you did in your blog, whenever I would complain about constant messes or children who weren't getting along or heaping loads of laundrey...."It just means somebody lives here!"