Sunday, July 31, 2011


Early in the morning, just after sun-up. The kids are all sleeping and I step outside on the back porch. We've been living on the pastor's ranch for about a year I guess. I look out over the fields of green beans and pick up the hose to fill the tub. In front of me are two generations of laundry cleaning. The CC Mira Mesa brought us a brand new front-loading machine a couple of months ago. Next to it stands an old wringer washer, the kind my mother told me about when I was young. I love that machine.

As the tub fills, I sort the whites out first to wash. I pour in liquid detergent and bleach and start agitating. Dirtiest of whites is slapped wet on the concrete scrub-board for extra detail. Socks are the most scrubbed both with a brush and a rolling motion up and down the board. I have to be careful not to scrape my knuckles raw. Then back into the tub they go to finish with the other whites.

The process of pulling the clothes out and through the wringer is peaceful tedium for me. I push and pull the clothing through and drop it into a deep sink full of clear clean water, then step to the side to push the wringer over to the sink. I pull and rinse the clothes before wringing them again to be dropped into a basket for hanging.

There is something so calming about standing there in my bare feet to hang the clothes on the line. There are no people noises yet, just the birds chittering in the few trees, a horse nickering under the olive tree and the few dogs run, noses down searching for the leavings of yesterday's meals. My face is once again turned to the fields as I hang. I can see the fig tree down the way and off in the distance is the pastor's greenhouse.

It is good clean work. I feel satisfied as I finish the first load of the day. The towels are already agitating in the washer. It is the moment of peace I have searched for before the children rise and workers arrive. I have no decisions to make at this moment, no boo-boos to tend, no tears to wipe.

My time. My place. God's peace.


Anne said...

I do remember how wringer washer and put rubber diapers through that wringer diapers and explodes and I ruined a couple of shirts
Did you ever get anything caught in a wringer?or ruined a couple of shirts?

Penny said...

I got lots of stuff caught in the wringer. Towels were the worst. They would bunch up together and stall the whole job. Caught my fingers a couple of time and my mother got her very long hair caught in it.

krissy knox said...

i understand entirely. just your time and God's. and just part of the rhythm of life, the washing, getting up in the morning, doing your chores. something you can count on each day. your alone time. part of the rhythm of life, as i stated. something to look forward to. your time alone w God. something to do fresh every morning. something that marks the start of a new day. you were a beautiful worker of God in Mexico, Penny -- sometimes we forget work is prayer to the Lord, and a great service and charity (love) for the Lord and others. Continue your work until He returns. Love you always! :)

krissy knox :)
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Lisa said...

A lovely entry Penny! My grandma had a ringer washer like that and she had hers set up in the kitchen on wash days. I can remember her feeding the clothing through the ringers! I don't think my children have ever seen one... I agree, sometimes there are just certain chores that we do that give us time to talk to God while we do them... I seem to have amazing prayer time while doing my dishes because the window is right there and it gives me such a peaceful view of our yard. Well, sort of, before we started pool construction... LOL

Rjet33 said...

My Nana had a wringer washer like that. How I miss those days of my youth watching her do the laundry. She is my Guardian Angel in Heaven now. I have always enjoyed your posts. Sorry I have been away so long. :-P