Monday, September 24, 2007

Hanging laundry

I did my laundry on Sunday and then carried the wash up to the roof to hang up to dry. Suddenly, in one of those moments of memory magic, I was in the backyard of our house on Minnesota Avenue in San Jose, California, a girl of about 10. I'm hanging the family wash on our large, revolving clothesline with my Mother. This was the last house in which we did this, moving on to a dryer soon thereafter. I'd forgotten the pleasant feel of damp clothes gently patting me on the face or back as I put things on the line or moved them around. I'd dip and slide between pieces on the line, like a swallow. Like today, pinning them up on a bright blue day blessed me with cheer. Then later, when the sun had done its work, I collected the clothes from the line, and the scent of sunshine and breeze on my shirts again made the mundane lovely.

I do clearly recall that I got tired hanging laundry some days, and that it was not so pleasant on cold days. But this time, after all these decades, I finished the day with clean clothes and a visit to a summer day in my childhood when I was simply enjoying helping my Mama with the wash.

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