Tuesday, July 28, 2009

where others have trod

Jul. 28, 2009

I was just doing laundry. To get to the laundry room in my house, you have to go out the front door into the enclosed porch and then down into the basement. In the summer, no big deal; in the winter it is freezing...we live in northern WI. Today it's warm, so its fine. The house is about 100 years old, an old farm house out in the country. The basement steps are concrete. Each step is a little different, some wider, some taller, nothing is uniform. Who knows why, maybe the original builder liked variety. The thing that interests me is that each step is pretty worn. Lots of people have been up and down those steps. People who never dreamed of me going down them too. So many memories locked up in the walls and rooms and steps of this old house. Sometimes when we are visiting others, I am awed by their laundry rooms, right on the living levels of the homes, decorated and convenient and clean and perky. I wonder what it would be like to do clothes there. Wow! But then I come home and make the trek to the basement; no decorations, no perkiness, but its so comfortable and familiar. A chore I share in spirit with who knows how many women over the years going up and down the stairs, freezing more than half the year. A chore that doesn't really need the decorations or perkiness. I like my laundry room. I like the stairs where others have trod. I like being a part of a long tradition, even if none of us 'laundry doers' will ever know each other. That's ok. The job gets done. The worn places on the stairs keep getting a bit deeper. Life goes on.

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