Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Philippians 4:11-13

     Laundry. The dreaded task. The never ending pile of dirty clothes. Laundry and I may never be best friends but I do consider myself to be blessed. After all, I have an automatic washer and dryer in the same little laundry room. My washing machine is hooked up to both the cold and hot water faucets. I can wash and dry a lot of laundry in just one day if I need or want to. This wasn't always the case.

     Seventeen years ago, we lived in Brasov, Romania.  I considered myself fortunate to have an American washing machine. Never mind the fact that there was only cold water to wash in. It did the job well enough. In the winter, the water was really, really cold. And we only had powdered detergent. After a couple of loads that ended up covered with the undissolved powder, I learned to microwave a bowl full of water, stir in some detergent and put that in the washer. I had to hang the clothes to dry inside the house for most of the year. We had a little clothesline above the bathtub and a dryer rack usually sat near our huge terra cotta heater. No, it wasn't the most convenient arrangement. But it was better than it was when we first moved into that house. It was a small house and certainly not made for a large American washing machine. It took John a few weeks to figure out how and where to install it. Meanwhile, we did laundry in the bathtub and wrung it out by hand. I say "we" because John helped immensely. I was 2 months pregnant and very ill.

     The first few months in that house were difficult in many ways. But it was a relief from what we had just been through during our first two months in Romania. Much of it is a nightmare that I try to forget but since laundry is the topic of the day, I will address that aspect. The four of us lived in one small room of a Romanian family's house for our first few weeks. They had a small washer but it was usually broken. When it worked, it was constantly in use by them. So I washed clothes in the tub. But there was nowhere to dry them. The family had a clothesline but it was always filled with clothes, wet clothes. It rained almost every day that we were there. So I washed socks, underwear and anything else that just couldn't be worn one more time and hung them on the radiator, backs of chairs and bedposts, hoping they would dry in the damp weather.

     Laundry is still an almost daily affair here in our house in the States. We generally do a load or two 5-6 days a week. This time the "we" includes the kids. It's not my favorite chore. I don't mind washing and drying so much and I actually enjoy hanging clothes on the line outside. It's the folding that I don't really enjoy. So, sometimes I forget how blessed I really am. Sometimes I complain, sigh, procrastinate. But then I remember the days when a simple thing like clean, dry socks was an enormous challenge and I thank God for all that He has blessed me with.  

By Karen W of Ellie Marie Designs

Comments (5)

On September 1, 2014 at 7:59 AM , ifrog crafter said...

It is easy to take conveniences like appliances....especially washers & dryers for granted. Though it wasn't near the inconvenience that you went through, our washer is landlord supplied & broke down earlier this year. I was just thankful that the dryer still worked & i washed quite a bit in the kitchen sink before the washer was finally replace. Not only was i thankful for the working dryer, but for the amount of clothes that we had that we could wear. Hope you have a blessed day.

On September 1, 2014 at 8:13 AM , bananaorangeapple said...

Great post Karen, and thanks for featuring my dress on the line.

On September 1, 2014 at 8:14 AM , Yolanda (silvercloud07) said...

Thank you for the reminder to be content in every circumstance. I know for a fact that some people would love to trade their laundromat experiences for in-home washing machines and dryers, and as you said, in some places it is so much worse. I'm grateful that I am able to do my laundry as needed and that I even have the clothes I have to wash.

On September 5, 2014 at 6:47 AM , Sue Runyon said...

What a great post on contentment. I don't mind laundry as I figure the machines does the work for me. The constant kitchen work is wearing, but I should be glad for it - glad that we have plenty and all the modern conveniences. I try to remember when we visited Cambodia and so many people had the clothes on their backs and not very much else.

On September 8, 2014 at 8:05 AM , Joyce Butler said...

Fortunately laundry is something I enjoy doing even when I was a child and we washed in a ringer washer and hung them on the clothes, winter included. You find ringer washer in antique places.
This is a good post as we do grumble and complain over our modern life style in North America.