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Rinsing the laundry

August 5, 2017

When I come to think of it, it must have been such a hard work for the women in my family. Doing the laundry. It must have taken such a long time! But I remember the part that was very fun for me.


Once all the laundry was ready to be rinsed, we loaded it in buckets on a wide, wooden garden cart with two large wheels in the middle, which made it impossible to balance without it being held (an eternal source of fun for us kids).


The good place to rinse in the river was rather far so my grandma, my mom and my aunt had to push the heavy cart along the fields on the dirt road that led to the spot where the river was deep enough. I remember there was a bump on the road at one point and at that moment grandma would call us and we would all have to help them push over that bump. The rest of it was easy, a bit downhill even.


My sister was two years younger than me and so they wouldn't let her rinse just yet for fear of the stream pushing her over and taking her. I can still recall the cold, cold water running around my skinny legs that tried to find a good, stable spot between slippery stones to stand on. I could only rinse the small pieces because I was small. When I was pulling the t-shirts and underwear from the buckets, they were still hot and smelled so fresh. We had to rinse them hard because if not, the detergent would stay in and make the clothes itchy on the skin. Some time into the fun, my grandma would send me out of the cold water so that I didn't get sick, and I would join my sister in searching for this one plant that would pop its seeds out when we touched it. It was really fun.


On the way back I would run back barefoot on the grass, much to my grandma's disapproval because she was afraid I might step on a snake or glass or something. Yet I never did. I loved running like that. It felt like flying.

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