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One Load at a Time

Laundry_Basket_Clean_Clothes_Royalty_Free_Clipart_Picture_100403-040279-741042“I’ve got to get home.  I’m doing laundry today,” I said to Daughter as I left her house.

“Oh, you’re doing both loads for the week on the same day?”  Daughter replied with her head tilted and a teasing smirk.  She’s the mother of four children, ages 8 and under.  Children who play on dirt piles, climb trees, ride bikes, and create pictures with markers.  Her laundry is never finished.  I remember those days, with two young children.  Now, my laundry basket holds dirty clothes for just Husband and me.

Yes, we have automatic washers and dryers.  Doing laundry is easy compared to washdays of olden times.  But think how many times we handle shirts and pants.  We carry, sort, treat stains, load the washer, unload the washer, load the dryer, unload the dryer, fold, hang, put away.  And yet we roll all that into simply “doing laundry.”  Ironing is a whole separate chore.

As I’ve mindlessly sorted and loaded and folded, I’ve pondered.

About socks.  There was a time that I kept a basket, right beside the dryer, for unmatched socks.  I didn’t waste time searching for one short white athletic sock or one black dress sock.  When the basket overflowed, I emptied all the socks onto the floor and challenged my family to find matching pairs.  I’ve never understood what happens to missing socks.  Does the washing machine really eat them?  Two black socks in.  One out.  The other, never seen again.

About folding.  Don’t washcloths that have been tossed in a basket wash just as well as ones that are folded in half and then thirds?  Folded underwear looks orderly in a drawer, but I promise it wears just the same when it’s thrown into that drawer.  When I was teacher and our children were middle school age, any time that I was home, the washer and dryer were going.  But the folding and putting away… there were times that it never happened.  Some clothes went from the clean clothes laundry basket (unloaded from the dryer) to the body.

About stains.  I admit I’m not good at removing stains.  I can get rid of grass stains, but any stain that no one knows how it got there; I’m not good with those.  If a prewash spray doesn’t do the trick, I hope no one notices or I pretend surprise when a friend points out a dirty spot on the front of my blouse.  I’m beginning to think that my friend Carol has the right idea.  She says that she chooses multi-colored blouses with designs so when she drops food, it blends in, and if it leaves a stain, that’s okay.

My friend Beth has two young children and a full time job.  I like her philosophy that she shared on Facebook:  “Had to fold laundry before work since there doesn’t seem to be any other time to do it.  Just sorting thru life, one load at a time.”

Doing laundry for a family of two or four or six.  Doing two loads a week or two loads a day.  All we can do is one load at a time.

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