Essential Laundry

by Bridget Geegan Blanton

Laundry is universal. Whether you do your own laundry or find a way out of it, we all have to deal with laundry. The attitude with which we approach this task is where separation occurs.

For some, it is a necessary, mundane reality of the human condition; for others it is a means to make a living. However, we attend to the job, it must be done.

For most of us, a first encounter with laundry took place as children. We helped fold the towels and roll up the socks. To this day, our own laundry ritual is influenced by the laundry procedure that was conducted in our childhood home.

Laundry is a constant requisite alongside life's grandest and most mediocre moments. For that reason, the act of doing laundry can be very grounding for us.

There's no pretense involved and minimal skill is required. The next time you find yourself complaining about the ever-present pile of unwashed clothes think 1902 and imagine yourself working a pair of longjohns through a wringer out of doors.

My own laundry ritual has evolved over the years. As a mother of young children I used to spend hours hanging up laundry outside on a clothesline. I loved the fresh scent left behind by a summer breeze.

I haven't had a clothesline in years and wonder how often I'd use it if I did. I've also become more skilled in handling different fabrics. More importantly, I've learned to delegate. Before any of my three children went off to college, they all had a few years of doing their own laundry under their belts.

Most recently, I've ceased looking upon the chore of laundry with disdain. It can be performed with minimal concentration. These days when doing laundry, my mind drifts from one thing to another. I brainstorm on a current writing project or contemplate a situation life has presented to me.

Quite often, the silence that accompanies the task of laundry can prove to be very beneficial. I come away with a true perspective on an issue that I thought about while attempting to fold a fitted sheet.

Emphasis here on the word "attempt" - when it comes to folding fitted sheets, the nicest word to describe my finished product would be 'rogue'...

Due to acquired skill (minus the category of fitted sheets), years of experience and a discerning approach to laundry soap, I believe that I've become a laundry legend in my own mind.

I remember rolling my eyes when appraising my children's less than enthusiastic approach to the chore back when they were teenagers. Usually they were rolling their eyes at me so, this was enjoyable for me...

I can only sigh, shake my head and trust that time will improve their attitude as I carry my clothes basket upstairs and consider a subject completely unrelated to laundry.

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