(Keepin' it real. This photo was taken long before I gained a lovely ten extra pounds from my parents' good cooking, disrupted fitness schedule, and my failure to adjust to the food situation in Moçambique. I'm not a bit too proud to show myself in my pajamas with my hair undone. Is this how you'd expect laundry for seven to look?)
I should really be ashamed of myself for posting this, but I'm just being honest. Before we moved to Moçambique over a year ago, we had been staying with my parents while awaiting the sale of our house in Alabama. The laundry situation was dire with nine people under one roof, and our multiple (large!) loads took a toll on my parents' machines. So, when we left for Moz, we offered our larger, more durable machines to my parents as a peace offering.
In the early years of our marriage, we had virtually no money. We rented our first washer and dryer while stationed at Ft. Ord, CA, in the early nineties. Years later, we received "hand-me-down", mix-and-match machines from my great-grandmother. I was delighted when we made our first purchase of a new machine. I don't recall now whether it was the washer or dryer that was replaced first, but it was followed a couple of years later by its Whirlpool counterpart. These were basic machines, but they were new and they were ours!
As the keeper of a home for seven people, I have logged many, many hours doing laundry. For years, Monday and Thursday have been my laundry days. I don't keep a running stream of laundry going all week, because with five children, it would be too easy for an item to be misplaced. My twice-a-week schedule affords greater accountability of particular items, which means that we are less likely to misplace a favorite shirt or pair of pants.
Laundry is one of those things that I enjoy doing. It's refreshing on all counts. I'm a sorter, by nature, so this job is especially satisfying. I love warm, soft things that smell good, so the end result of laundry gives me "warm fuzzies" inside. I do require the children to do their part, however, and this year they will take an even greater role in doing the laundry. This is simply because they need to learn how to do their own laundry, and it's my job to teach them. (Besides, it affords me more time for things like blogging and sewing.)
Six years ago, when we moved into our house in Alabama, I was blessed to purchase a front-loading washer, and of course, my sweet husband wanted to make sure that I had a matching dryer. I was elated to make that purchase, so I named my machines "Pride" and "Joy"! They have served our family well, and I was very pleased to share them with Mom and Daddy when we went to Moz last year. Our plan was to buy newer models upon returning to the US.
Well, when we arrived back in the US, Daddy had decided that he'd return our machines to us and purchase new ones instead. Although this dashed my hopes of an upgrade, it certainly has helped our bank account not to have to make this immediate purchase. The day when our machines were brought to our new home was a very happy day for me, indeed. Yesterday, however, I visited my parents and had my first look at their machines. Yow! I've had to repeat to myself, "I will not covet my parents' laundry machines... I will not covet..."