Today is just one of those days where I woke up and was greeted by a beautiful azure blue, cloudless sky and decided to take full advantage of the warm and sunny day, and wash a few of my quilts. There is nothing quite like hanging the washing on the clothes line where the sun permeates the washing, leaving the most delicious fragrance. And....it just happens that today is Monday.
I remember as a wee child when my nan did all the family's washing every Monday. It's just as Ma used to say in "The Little House in the Big Woods" book......"Each day had its own proper work".
My nan would wash bundle after bundle of laundry in a huge copper, feeding each article through the hand propelled wringer and then hang it on the line to dry. It seemed to me that we would spend half of the day in the laundry laughing and chatting; with my nan sharing many of life's insights with me.
I remember having so much fun with my nan as I helped her sort the laundry into groups......sorting the whites from the colours, the heavy soiled work clothes from the towels, the delicates from the jeans. Sometimes my nan would recite a poem to me:
"Wash on Monday,
Iron on Tuesday,
Mend on Wednesday,
Churn on Thursday,
Clean on Friday,
Bake on Saturday,
Rest on Sunday."
When I look back I can't help but think how hard life was back then. Domestic chores seemed to be so labour intensive. I can't imagine spending half of my day in the laundry now. Thank goodness for washing machines where you just press the 'on' button and everything is washed, spun and ready to hang out to dry!
Fast forward about 30 years and I remember how my two girls never quite felt the same enthusiasm at the thought of 'wash day' that I shared with my nan!! Alas....... the laundry was not the place where I was going to enlighten my girls, nor indeed impart my thoughts on the meaning of life! I remember them spending as little time as possible in the laundry! Growing up they could never quite grasp the concept of sorting out their clothes, putting them into the washing machine and could never seem to find the 'on' button. A wry smile often crosses my face when I think of my girls and their 'hanging their clothes on the floor' mentality. It's only since moving into their own homes that they have managed to grasp the 'washing the clothes' concept!!
I often think of my nan. I think of her wisdom, her smile that would hug me, her dry humour, her inexhaustible patience, her ability to make the everyday goings-on fun, and amongst other things, her positive attitude to life.......but most of all I love to remember those special memories we shared on 'Wash Day Mondays'!!