the art of hand washing

If you own or have access to a washing machine you are in the world’s elite.  Seriously, you are.  (I can’t find a good statistic on this, but if you make $25,000/yr you are in the worlds top 10% richest – according to the Global Rich List website.  That’s not very relative unless you consider that most people making this much money a year probably have easy access to a washing machine.)  I’ve been wrestling a lot lately with feelings of being privileged, fortunate, spoiled.  I’ve always lived somewhere that had a washing machine, whether it was in my parents home or the college dorm, apartment building or conveniently in my condo.  Even in Kenya last year I lived in houses that had their own washing machines.  But that is not common in the world we live in.  It’s beyond uncommon.  It’s luxury.

Now that I’m living on my own in the city, my flat doesn’t have a washing machine nor the ability to hook one up, so I’m learning the art of hand washing these days.  It’s a lot of work!  Here’s a tip:  Don’t wait until a week or two goes by before you start.  Wash your dirty clothes every other day so it doesn’t become a full day’s work for you in the end!

Hand washing, with a certain perspective, can be one of those mundane tasks that allows you time to breathe, time to think, time to pray…  (I once met a friend who prays for her children’s purity when she folds their underwear… love that!)  Don’t get me wrong… these feelings surely will wane and I’m certain I wouldn’t be so Donna Reed about all of this hand washing if I had the additional laundry for a husband and any amount of kids.  And I certainly wouldn’t even be saying anything of this if I hadn’t grown up in the culture I did.  Let’s be real, it’s just plain hard work.

But let’s be thankful when we get to throw our clothes into a washing machine next time.  I want to remember to be thankful when the convenience is mine.

…and Dad, aren’t you so proud of my quad-clothesline I created out of my shower?!  I owe all of my MacGyver skills to you!

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2 Responses to the art of hand washing

  1. becky says:

    love it! :)

  2. Jodee says:

    This post is timely as here in Peru, we have been without our washing machine for 3 weeks or so due to home renovations. So, I did some hand washing myself for the first time in a long time! It did give me a chance to relate to those who I know always wash their clothes by hand, especially those who dont have running water so there is no hope for a washing machine. It is hard work and tedious. Plus it takes forever to dry. But, it works! Fortunately we have our machine back so I just did 3 loads, but it is a good lesson and definately helps you identify with others around you. Thanks for sharing! Blessings to you! Jodee

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