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Beth Elaine

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By Beth Elaine
Sunday, March 30, 2008

Rated "G" by the Author.

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Another "duh" moment in domesticity...

Laundry.  I hate it!  As a working woman, I find this chore worse than all the others. When my kids got to be adolescents, they figured out how lousy I was at it.  "No offense, Mom, but I'll do my own wash.  Don't worry about it," Julie said.  

They've been gone for years, so I've had no help for quite some time in this department. As an arthritis patient, (and I hate the sniveling sound of that) folding clothes is one of my least favorite activities. 

How did Mom do it? She had all kinds of muscle and bone problems, yet she kept clothes clean and stain-free for my coal-miner dad, herself, and 3 kids.

Her basement kingdom consisted of a washtub, washer, dryer, and clotheslines.  For a lot of years, she also used a wringer washer.  All of Monday she bleached and scrubbed and folded, then carried everything upstairs and distributed to drawers and closets without aid. Well. All I have is a tiny laundry room with a washer and dryer. I can just see her pursing her lips at my excuse.  Or lifting her brows, or snickering.

No joke, there was a time or two when I was in my late 20's and showed up at her door.  She removed my jacket and took it down to the laundry room and had all the stains out in about 90 minutes. 

I, on the other hand, now deal decisively with obstinate stains by hanging such garments way back in the closet to deal with at some indeterminate date in the future.

Clothes tend to migrate, clean but wrinkled, from the laundry cubicle to the adjacent spare bedroom.  I tend to abandon them there. At Walmart this weekend, I saw a nice rectangular basket that I thought Mom would have liked.  I bought it and brought it home.

I turned on the radio to trick my mind into thinking we were having fun and folded lots of little piles of clothes into my new basket.  In no time (a day and a half) I could see the bedspread. Wow!  It's cute!  Then I felt like ironing.  Now, maybe I don't have to do laundry all week.  I did 6 loads.  Maybe I won't scramble daily for socks because they're all folded and in the drawer.

Maybe I'll do it again next weekend, or Thursday evening to preempt the weekend. Mom, I hope you're proud of me.



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