I am one of those controversial figures who loves doing laundry. I have shared this information before, seemingly shocking and insulting many a friend and foe, and finding, gladly, a few fellow laundry aficionados along the way as well. Personally, I love the very ordinary rhythm of the laundry process. Despite my beautifully vibrant and semi-chaotic international lifestyle, I genuinely love the simple and everyday pleasures of washing and drying, folding and putting away laundry. Laundry grounds me. It reminds me that I am taking care of my family. It reminds me that step-by-step, things get done.
Laundry is a slow process, particularly in India. We have been very fortunate to have regular power and water during this trip. Water has never been a problem for us, thankfully, due to a very good and consistent well on the campus, but many Indians struggle with water shortages all across Bangalore and India. It used to be the case that we would loose power for an hour or two every day, but even that has changed. This being said, laundering of one, maybe two, loads of laundry is an all-day process. I begin as early as possible, hopefully before breakfast on the good days. This means that the load will be done within a half hour after breakfast. Then, I carry my clean, wet clothes downstairs in a pink bucket adorned by a large Strawberry Shortcake sticker that Leila gifted to me. I head down the slope, across the campus, and then back up another set of stairs to the clothesline. On a nice hot and dry day, which includes most of the year except monsoon season, the clothes with dry in a couple hours or less.
By the time I am able to get the clothes down off the line (er, by the time I remember) it seems like it is usually late afternoon, and there is a squirming baby to take care of (one who I looked over and saw standing(!!) beside the armchair on his 8-month birthday today… we really have to keep our eye on him!) Folding usually happens after the kids have gone to bed, and the apartment is quiet. It is a day-long endeavor that most often begins again the very next morning because our washer is small, and we’re a family of four. But truly, I am grateful for the pace and regularity that laundry adds to my days.
All of this being said, things are about to change around here. One of my dearest friends is about to arrive on the scene. JP will head to the airport in just 30 minutes to collect him. It will be three fun-filled weeks, likely lacking in the realm of quiet and ordinary. We like this too. I’ve had the itch to travel. I want to see and taste some new places. Leila is dying to go somewhere by train. JP is already buzzing with energy that will flow forth in “Look at that’s” and “Did you know’s,” that will make all our heads spin.
We’ll leave behind our clothespins and laundry OK, OK, so laundry always has to happen (hence the romantic words above…) but we will leave behind the ordinary pace, and fit laundry in the middle of trips and tastes, sights and sounds. And, we’ll keep you posted on the fun that ensues. For now, I’ve got to go get the laundry off the line!