Adventures in… Laundry Day

Laundry day … I appreciate the convenience of in home facilities. I love the neighborhood laundromat. My trips to the laundromat are always a little reminder of what’s good about community. Laundry day usually looks like me toting my sorted items in smart totes and pop up hampers, washing and drying them with equal parts precision and alchemy (no exaggeration just ask anybody who has witnessed the laundrafication ritual) and then usually tossing them in said hampers and totes (to be folded at home or more likely rolled and stuffed into drawers or trunks)… My plans are usually thwarted by the presence of an elder (she’s always there, usually different). I love seeing the elder there, dressed for the day (not in pj’s and house shoes) with her little pocket book on her shoulder, eating her fruit or popcorn or spicy cheetos… Taking care to do her diminutive load of lights. Her presence makes me refrain from just tossing the clean clothes back into the basket haphazardly and compels me to fold them and stack them neatly. Towels, in half in then right to middle,left to middle, bands up. Sheets, in half, then half again, then half again until I have a perfect square… Even the pocket sheets get folded. I fold shirts, in half length wise, then sleeves forward across the heart, then bottom to sleeve,and over again… So you can see the graphic… Pants,along the crease then over twice, waistband up. I take great care to fold and stack in her presence, I do it with reverence. I don’t think she cares or is even paying attention to the attention I’m paying to these garments and yet I feel compelled in her presence to to it just like this. Slow down, take my time, take pride in my work. Show her that I know how “to do” the laundry, not simply wash and dry clothes. I look up periodically and she still sits quiet, nibbling, waiting, not paying me any attention. Her clothes finish and she folds them delicately and places them in her laundry bag readying herself to leave. Today she stops by my table and says “Daughter (I love when an elder calls me daughter,my heart skips, and I judge that I’m an accepted member of the tribe)  you fold your laundry beautifully.”