When will the laundry be finished?
It’s a daily or weekly job. Some people have it easier with this job than others.
When I grew up we had the old wringer washer in the basement of our Michigan home.
Mom would carefully put clothes through the squeezing rollers so that the buttons on the shirts and dresses would not be broken, and she would put them through at such a pace that
clothing would not get bound up in the machine.
When baskets were full of wet clothes they would be hauled up the steps out to the back yard to the long clothes lines. I suppose our clothes lines were the length of a school bus...maybe a little longsr...and we had four heavy wire lines. We would carefully pin each piece to the wire.
Mom and I would be busy all day washing, hanging, checking for dryness, taking down, ironing if needed and putting away. The clothes were always…as they say…April fresh. And that was a great benefit, mom would say…"You see? We don’t need those dryer sheets. I can do better."
But then there were hard, frustrating days when it rained or when winter came. We would hang the clothes in the basement mostly. Sometimes, if it was sunny, out on the lines, but more often than not with the outside choice, the clothes would be brought into the house cold and stiff.
As a young teen, I would wish for a clothes dryer. I would spend the night at other houses and feel the difference a dryer made in the bath towels.and the longing for that dryer would be greater, but mom wouldn’t budge. She was committed to the old way of doing things. Of course our electric bill was only about $14.00 to $25.00 a month at that time.
Contentment. That’s what I needed.
I needed to learn contentment and understand that the job I was doing was very important for my family. I had five brothers and we lived on the farm with all kinds of animals, chores, crops, haying season, and harvest. My Pa and my brothers worked hard…and so did mom and I.
I was learning that the need to have things running efficiently was very important and mom took her work around the house seriously.
I looked up some verses on contentment. Some were very helpful. Some of those verses I
would underline or write out and read over so much that they were memorized.
Proverbs 15:16 said, "Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, Than great treasure with trouble.
I loved Philippians 4:11. “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.”
That was hard. I thought we had a legitimate need. Those towels were like sand paper. My favorite jeans were still frozen and I couldn’t wear them to school that particular day. I would
take them down to the basement and pin them to the line closest to the wood stove hoping they were dry fast … they didn't. I had to dig down in the dresser for another pair.
Oh my…what a teen goes through…but you know what cured my discontent? A firm loving mom that kept working hard…usually with singing and …the other cure for discontent was…time.
Now, I’ve seen, as I’ve driven up some of these hollers here in the Appalachia, that some ladies
are still using the wringer washer and still hanging out the clothes. Hats off to you as you do your very important chore. You may not have the hook up for facilities for a washer or dryer, or you just may be like my mom and choose not to have one. Keep doing the good work that you set out to do each day for your family.
Don’t be discouraged, for changes…whether it’s washer and dryer… or just
a great attitude about the work being done… always certainly come in time.