I had entitled this post Mission Accomplished because I got a lot done today in a short amount of time (laundry folded, packed, and put away; diaper table re-organized; clothes line used, adapted, and fixed) but then I was sitting out on the porch with Stomper, watching the clothes float on the breeze, and some memories came back to me and suddenly what I had done today no longer seemed so important.
As a teen I sometimes hung the laundry out on the line for my Mom (I believe there was a chair involved). One end was tied way up in a tree and the other end was attached to a post on the deck, but the deck had become rotten and removed, hence the chair. First the jeans went on because they took the longest, then the towels, then the t-shirts. I remember thinking how foolish it was to hang laundry since we had a perfectly working dryer, but Mom insisted.
I remember, when I was around 7 or 8, riding my bike around and around the house, ducking under the laundry lines (there were two at one time), and being fearful of getting caught on it. My Dad, I believe it was him, always warned me not to pull any of the laundry down. As a child, the vague threat meant I'd receive a spanking, but now as an adult I wonder if a less harsh punishment would have been doled out.
I am thankful that my Mom used a clothes line and cloth diapers (though I wasn't so keen on the idea back then). Now, today, as my dryer sits in my kitchen still not working, I can revive old skills and put them to use. I know to put my t-shirts inside-out so they won't fade and that I can hide my undies behind stuff so the neighbors can't see. I know that dunking the diaper in the toilet will remove the solids and that the washer can do the rest.
As I sat there with my son, him holding on to the rails of the railing practicing standing, me telling him about my childhood I recalled summers at Grandpa and Grandma B's house. Every summer for two weeks I'd go and stay with them. One week we'd camp and the other week we hung around the house. I would help Grandma with the laundry on occasion when I was bored. We walked through the back porch storage room (usually a place forbidden) to the back yard where the clothes lines were.
I remember the smell of warm metal and mint. Warm metal from the sides of their trailer and the funny paint that rubbed off on my fingers and the loads of mint out where the laundry hung. When I was little I got to hold the bag of clothes pins, but as I got older I got to hang up towels (just the towels). When we were done Grandma and I would pick up mint and rub it between our fingers to release the smell. She never let me chew it, not sure why.
With our work completed me might take a look at the garden and pick a few cherry tomatoes (they planted a whole plant just for me) or try and sneak around to the front of the house to see some birds up close.
I hope that as my son gets older he will have many fond memories of his grandparents. I feel blessed that both sets love him so deeply and dearly that even at the age of 8months they want him all to themselves some days and ask for a "Mimi & Stomper Day" or "Grandma & Stomper Day". The grandfathers look more towards the future for having him on their own, when he's potty trained. I've already been told about fishing, smelting, and hunting trips that Stomper and his Bumpa will take and Grandfather will teach him out to make maple syrup and build things. I am excited for the childhood my son will get to experience.