When we moved to Texas we bought our house. And we quickly learned that houses down here don't come with appliances! (Why?!? I don't know.) Considering our budget was close to zero we immediately hit up Craigslist for a fridge, washer and dryer. The fridge we found was big and solid and...filthy but most importantly it was CHEAP. A little elbow grease and a whole lot of bleach later and it was good as (almost) new! Shortly after that Joe found a cheap washer and dryer set. We quickly discovered that while the price was right the set left a lot to be desired. The washer randomly puts holes in our clothes and has rust spots in it. The dryer's timer DOES NOT work. As in it will run indefinitely unless I remember to stop it. Oh and while it has multiple heat setting options in reality it only runs on high. It's a bad combination! So most of the time I hang our clothes to dry outside on the clothes lines.
Oh and I almost forgot the first couple months we owned the dryer it smelt like tortillas. And I don't mean a faint tortilla smell. No it was like I was making tortillas when running the dryer!! And all our clothes came out smelling like tortillas! Which isn't a bad smell. Trust me I LOVE tortillas, especially fresh ones. The ten pounds of tortilla weight I've gained since moving here is a testament to my love of tortillas. But that doesn't mean I want to walk around smelling like a tortilla!
All of this to say that on laundry day I often dream of life after residency. Or as it is often referred to in the married-to-medicine world the "it gets better" stage. That stage when the years of training are done and you are no longer living student loan to student loan or paycheck to paycheck. The stage when buying a fully functional washer and dryer set is feasible. And if I forget to set the kitchen timer while drying clothes my clothes won't get burnt and/or shrunk! I also dream of things like a new(er) reliable minivan. And saying "YES" to more of my kids requests to go and do fun things...NOT more stuff:/. And I dream of having my husband around more to participate in our family life.
But then I have these moments that catch me by surprise. Moments when I'm hanging my laundry and I'm overwhelmed with gratitude. Thankful that I have the opportunity to live somewhere I can comfortably hang my laundry outside to dry all year round. And thankful that I have this house full of people to do laundry for. And I'm even thankful for the laundry itself. Because clothes aren't cheap. Especially when you have a child that outgrows them every time you turn around. Multiply that by four children and the amount of clothing you need is insane! And as I hang our laundry I'm thankful because 90% of our clothes are hand-me-downs or gifts or garage sale finds. And hanging the laundry reminds me of all the people that have lovingly and generously clothed my children for...well their entire lives! And while I do look forward to someday selecting my children's wardrobe for now I'm thankful for others' generosity.