Living, Learning & Loving La Vida Nueva

Monday, October 3, 2016

Airing My Dirty Laundry

There is something about laundry that I enjoy.  I like a task that can be completed simply.  I like routine.  Possibly too much.  I do laundry on Mondays and Thursdays.  It's been this way for a long time.  Back in my dryer days, I used to get away with doing laundry once a week.  I could divide loads and conquer it within a day - washed, dried and put away.  Having to hang it all on the line takes a significant amount of time, though, so I prefer to split it up now.  

I'm not always this happy as I hang laundry.  It's just that I was laughing that my mom was photographing me hanging Jonathan's underwear of all things.  As you can see, I often have company as I do my chores.

If you know me well, you may know that I can be a bit particular about things.  It's a blessing and a curse.  I have to make a conscious effort to relax and change my routine.  Like if it's raining on a Monday.... I have to take a deep breath and remind myself that it's okay -- I can, in fact, do laundry on a Tuesday.  

Typically, I sort laundry into two loads - lights and darks.  If I have towels and sheets, I'll do those separately.  I have a massive washing machine, so it works.  Once my machine is finished singing it's pretty little chime which tells me a load is finished, I pile it up in a basket and take it out to the yard.  I hang by person, oldest to youngest.  It makes me happy to see each person's laundry together.  Did I mention I can be a bit particular about things?  If it is freezing cold, however, I just throw it all up there.  The longer one handles wet laundry in the freezing cold, the colder one's hands become and the worse they hurt.  Ask me how I know.

While I am hanging laundry, I almost always have people passing by my fence going one direction or the other.  Many stop and stare.  It's as if they've never seen a woman hang laundry before.  Oftentimes women ask me if they can have a job and do my laundry for me.  I kindly decline and ask them what I would do if they took my job.  Others simply greet me, which I prefer to the previously mentioned scenarios, and pass on.  It's humorous to me how interested folks are in seeing me (us) complete the same tasks they complete, too. 

When it's all dry, I take it off and fold it as I go.  It takes time, but then it's all ready to go where it belongs when I get it back inside.  Plus, the wind is my friend and irons things very well.  I like to fold them so they stay smooth rather than stuffing them into a basket to fold some other time.  

I also employ the most adorable help.  When we came back to Mokhotlong last month, I hung a smaller line for Ellee to help me with socks and undies.  She's old enough now to pitch in, plus she likes a task.  She takes her job seriously.

When the water goes off, I wash by hand daily using river water.  I cannot get behind or the task is overwhelming.  Thankfully that doesn't happen too often.  I never appreciated a washing machine like I did when I first moved to Africa and didn't have one.  Laundry isn't so bad, really.  My motto is, "Just Do It!"


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