Tuesday, July 4, 2006


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Current mood: thirsty

Quiet now, one child off with my Mom and the other napping. I collect the laundry basket off the couch- I had set it there earlier when I was distracted from the task at hand, since Littleman had to go potty and then the doorbell rang and then I had to collect his suitcase and I was irritated at my Mom and irritated at myself for being irritated, and I had to install the carseat in her car and let the dogs in and Sweetcheeks started to fuss and what was I saying again?

Oh, right- so I collect the laundry basket and step onto the deck. The air outside has a mirage-like quality to it, shimmering with the intensity of the sun. It's so humid it seems I can actually feel the weight of the water in the air, pressing in on me and coalescing into sweat droplets that trickle slowly down between my breasts. I have a rope tied up right now for laundry, to take advantage of the relentless sunshine. It's blaze can fade stains right out of cloth diapers and leave all the laundry smelling fresh. One by one I hang the swimsuits, shirts and other items from the basket. Not a breath of air stirs the leaves; there is no cloud in the bleached-blue sky. A dog barks, I hear a lawnmower nearby. I ponder the dedication it must take to make someone mow their lawn in this. Just thinking about it is too much work. By now my dress is sticking to my back, and fly-away tendrils of hair are plastered to the edges of my face. I hang the last sarong and retrieve the empty basket. As I head for the door, I think about washing all our laundry outside, in washtubs by hand, and not having the electric washer and dryer as options. My great-grandmother did it, for many many years at the farm in Alabama. Water from the spring, lye soap and a washboard. Many hours, many clotheslines, many callouses. She was one of the first in the county to get a motorized wash-basin for laundry, and she was SO proud and pleased. Even all those years later as she reminisced about it, it made her smile. Everyone could hear that thing for miles around! I flatter myself that I am pretty self-sufficient and hardy, but I am thankful not to test my mettle that way. Mentally I kiss my washer and dryer as I step into the air-conditioned cool of my kitchen, and count my blessings!

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