Sunday, October 18, 2015

Laundry as Therapy

As the weather is starting to warm up here in Queensland, the renovation here at number 29 will be taking a hiatus...well, for me anyway. While I am in Canada for 6 weeks wondering why the hell I chose to come in November, the kitchen will be gutted and replaced in my absence. This seemed like a stroke of genius to me when we started to plan the timeline. Am I right ladies?

I will be packing away the dishes and pots and pans and all the other kitchen gear toward the end of this week. I will miss the dust and dirt and noise and chaos and come home to a brand new kitchen. That's the plan anyway. Tim the toolman here will set up a table with a microwave, a kettle and use the BBQ for cooking. The fridge will move to the dining area and it will not likely bother him one iota. I, on the other hand, would find it very disruptive. So, every time I start to whinge about the cold rainy November weather in Canada, I will remind myself that it beats living through a kitchen renovation in a heat wave. 

The house is transforming nicely. I will have 3 rooms left to tend to when I get back. My trip will also give me some more time to think about how and what I want to do with the remaining spaces. My sinuses need a break from drywall dust and my neck needs a break from painting ceilings. 

Oddly, as much as I am looking forward to seeing my family and friends, I am feeling sad about leaving my new home and life here. I am feeling quite settled here now and with that feeling come the routines and rituals of life that I love. Just yesterday as I stood at the kitchen window watching the freshly laundered sheets blowing in the breeze it made me smile to think how far I had come. When I first arrived here and saw that most people here in this town hung their laundry to dry outside, I was perplexed. Why don't they use dryers? But now that it is part of my domestic life here, I actually like it. There is a peaceful quiet zen like quality attached to this chore that I like. When my girl was here earlier this year, I watched as she awkwardly hung her laundry the first few times before she got the hang of it (pun intended). One day as I watched her, I noted she was very particular about matching the colour of the pegs for each item and it surprised me. I did not think that sort of thing would matter to her, but clearly it did as she would sort through the peg bucket looking for colours that matched. I tend to go with a multi-colour scheme, but not quite willy nilly. I like the peg  colours to compliment the colour of the item being hung. Call me anal, but it almost turns the activity into a creative exercise. 

The clothes smell so lovely - especially bedding and linens. There is always a chance the birds will make a mess, but so far it has only happened twice. Not bad considering it is an every other day event around here. There is a bit of an art to it as well. I try to balance the clothes to catch the sun or breezes in the most efficient manner. I turn black and brightly coloured clothing inside-out to protect it from fading and sheets are hung symmetrically in half to create a fold line later. When I step away from the chore, I position the Hill's Hoist facing the most practical direction and then watch as the first strong breeze mockingly spins it off course making me realize I really had no control in the first place. Mother Nature is in charge from that point forward. 

As I sit here writing this account of one of life's simple pleasures, the radio drones on in the background and I hear a story of a man being arrested for raping a 2 year old girl and it makes me wonder what happened in the early life of the rapist that led him to commit such a sick and depraved crime. 

My guess is he never derived any joy from hanging laundry.

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