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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

chores with an old time twist---saves energy too!

Our dryer went out a few days ago & it finally came time to put a stop to the ever growing pile of stinky laundry lying about.  After checking craigslist for front load fancy-high-function machines I had a memory flash through my mind.   Summer!  My sister & I spent them split between family who owned a locally renowned stables, our grandparents in the city (population 5128), & other grandparents had a farm.   At the stables (400 acres of amazing land on the river) I started the day before the sun by walking out to the lower creek crossing to get the horses for daily trail rides.  Sometimes I’d have to walk all the way to the Big Meadow to find them but to save time on the way home I’d jump on the lead mare & ride her all the way back to the corral while all the other horses (about 20) followed close behind.  Then feed them, halter them & tie them to the hitching rail, brush them all, pick hooves, saddle then bridle ALL the horses.  All the while, listening to 40’s & 50’s old time country music (some I hadn’t heard since they sold the land).     We won’t go into the fact that for years there was never a real toilet….just an outhouse.  Well several outhouses to accommodate all the cabins & the lodge.  Interesting fact, they don’t always have to stink…..my family apparently used a lot of lime & they never smelled.  Wow…wonder if anyone lived with outhouses!

In town, Grandma Barb loosened the reigns.  Lucky Charms for breakfast, lunch and dinner (afternoon snack was Little Debbie Swiss Cake rolls) during an entire summer.  I played with Julie (my best friend who lived 2 doors down) all day & night pretty much.  We roller skated, ran every night at midnight one year (in the rain), walking to Dairy Queen, the park, and just about anything 2 girls can do in a one stop light town.  FREEDOM was my favorite underlying theme of summers in Iowa. 

Days on the farm were filled with mischievous adventures just like the other 2 places but also filled with chores: playing with the cows (or being chased by the bull), bailing hay (climbing around in the FULL haystacks in the gigantic barn were a big highlight for me), shucking corn, snapping peas, eating fresh fruit from the vine & apples from the orchard (rather than coming in for lunch) and always staying out of the way of the men working.

Each had their own appeal… but one memory ties them all together & stands out more than the others this week as I'm reminded of …..LAUNDRY!  The countless hours spent at the clothes line helping snap the clothes, hang, remove, fold & put away and occasionally a game of hide n seek with sis.   I was just like any other kid in the sense that I wanted everything to feel like an adventure (still do actually) and had to be entertaining someone or making something. 
Memory invasion: I just remembered my Grandma Barb washed clothes with one of those old washing machines that had the big metal tub with the ringer that would push the clothes through in order to drain the water from them.  I wonder if anyone actually used those…..I mean anyone I know.  She used to tell me not to get my fingers near the ringer….but did I listen?  NO!  I got my whole arm stuck once & nearly broke the thing.  Oooooo was she fit to be tied! 

 I realize I lived a very different childhood than most people.  Milking cows, riding horses, working a farm, roofing with my dad, detasseling corn (the hardest job I ever had) and moving at least once a year which allowed me the freedom to reinvent myself & start fresh each time. 

How did I get so far off topic...mental road trip I guess. 
Laundry...clothes line.  There, I'm back!  I decided I'd get a couple of the retractable clothes lines and have loved snapping the clothes (for wrinkles), hanging, waiting (I mean accomplishing the other 100 things on my to do list), removing, folding, putting away.  Who would've known an uncooperative dryer would bless me to the point of recalling a simpler time in life....I quiet, chill, moms take care of everything with grace & confidence kinda world.  I just know when I put on some house shoes (or crocs), pick an apron to slip on and put on some instrumental jazz piece or better yet, the Binions in the background I'll feel more stately & grounded as I prepare the perfect home environment for my family.  Like June Cleaver….right!?!

So ….
I love a staged home! 
Not staged for sale....staged for real life! 

Much love & peace.....t

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