A long, hard Winter will have you not only actively wishing, but dreaming about Summer.
You don’t always need a Winter, though, do you?
Growing up was always one of the greatest times of the year wasn’t it? For me, it meant that we could spend a whole week at my grandparents WITHOUT my brothers and sister.
I was King for a week during that time. I always got to pick the menu for the week, and lima beans wasn’t on it. I could pick out the flavor of ice-cream I liked the best and if I wanted to, I could stay up and watch Johnny Carson.
I always took the opportunity to tell my grandmother what terrible people my parents were; why they made me take out garbage, put my clothes in the hamper, make my bad and even had the audacity to make me do the dishes from time to time.
I remember asking my grandmother what terrible things her parents made her do, and she would tell me it was many, many tasks too horrible to describe, but one in particular, doing the family wash, was the worst because they didn’t have a wash machine. My grandmother would have to haul the family laundry into town, wait while it was being done, and then have to come home afterwards; an all day event, she bemoaned.
She told me she’d remembered very vividly when their neighbor was drafted into the war and he boarded up the house and moved his family in with the in-laws and asked my great-grandparents if they’d be so kind as to take care of some of the things they were leaving behind. Wouldn’t you know, one of them was their wash machine. It’s the kind you actually find out on the back porch of an antique store, the one with the tumbler and wringer. She even proudly displayed a nasty scar on her hand where she’d actually got it caught in the wringer.
She said, chasing that old wash machine across their dirt basement floor as it would shake, shimmy, spit, and spew suds all over the place was a kind of peace on earth–besides she could now do the family wash at her convenience and not for a whole Saturday.
You can imagine, if THAT was her best day, her worst was seeing their neighbor coming back from the war and bringing his family with him. They un-boarded the house, brought back most of their possessions with the last being their old wash machine, at which time, my grandmother, in great animated detail, told how she stomped across that dirt basement floor, up those creeky cellar stairs, complaining, crying and yelling to my great grandmother, “They’ve taken away our wash machine,” at which point my great grandmother had the good sense to say, “Now you listen here, that wash machine was never our’s to begin with and now at the time of it being taken from us, we’ve got to be thankful that we ever had the good use of it to begin with.”
That story (without WII’s and Gameboy’s and Ipads) had great entertaining value for me; in fact, I’d goad her into telling it time and time again and of course she did, adding a little more exaggerated details with each telling.
The story, to a 10-11-12 year old kid had purpose and meaning and fun to it, but it’s certainly taken on a different meaning now as she has long since died and I’ve gotten significantly older and wiser.
It reminds me what I now remind you who have BEEN THROUGH THE WRINGER: The greatest gifts in our lives aren’t gifts at all…they’re people; friends, acquaintances, family. And now…and then…at the times they have been taken from our lives through divorce, distance or death, my, my, my, how we’ve got to be thankful for ever having the very priceless, precious gifts of their lives in ours to begin with!
Now, that’s a different way of looking at getting ‘washed clean,’ isn’t it?
When you’ve literally, been through the Wringer, make note of those who’ve helped you at some of the most “PRESSING” times and more, how even right now, in the lives of others who are currently going through the Wringer, how it is you might pop a few more bubbles of the blinding suds that do everything but clean!
Who knows, the gift of Yourself, GIVEN, just might not be as obsolete and as antiquated as something discarded on the back porch?
Get your shake and shimmy on and froth forth those Great Gifts, Given, Accepted, Benefited and now, now ultimately shared.
Because in the end. . .
Wait for it…
W a i t f o r it . . .
…in the end…it All Comes out in the WASH!
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