The Sunday Church at St. Laundry

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Sunday, February 25, 2018

We adhere to a fairly rigid schedule here in the Hag, especially when we’re in the middle of nowhere. With four of us, and I’m including Stella in this head count, it is really the only way to make things work so everyone’s needs are met. My people need to be fed and be able to go about their business with clean clothes, etc. As for Stella, a schedule means she can DO her business, which is important to all of us. Additionally, as my dear Dad is a retired civil engineer, I have been told that this orderly way of life is the only way to go.

Sunday is my laundry day. Craig and Dad go to breakfast, and I go to the FOY Laundromat. This sounds like a lop-sided plan, but it works. It’s good to clear out the interior of the Hag before sorting laundry. We have had uncooperative weather, and this year that means: Wind. Not just a sultry little breeze, but 20-30 mile per hour sustained BIG WINDS. Sorting laundry outside would send our stuff airmail to Mexico, so the Hag empties out and I have room to do my thing.

Almost from the beginning of our stay this year, a FOY neighbor and I have happened to be like-minded regarding our laundry schedules. In other words, we meet in the laundry. Every Sunday. It is a curious point to note that one of the religious denominations at the park holds church service in the room next to the laundry room. We watch them stroll by and they watch us being heathens on the Sabbath. It’s not really a big deal, at least to me. We get a chuckle and possibly they do too. And, it’s also possible that my laundry doing on Sunday has nothing to do with my personal heathen status. I might have earned that years ago.

When my kids were in their grade school years, we took a 3-week camping trip ending up outside of Yellowstone National Park. We stayed at a campground that was adjacent to a lake where we happened upon a couple that was fishing using float tubes. They were a gracious pair and explained to the kids what they were doing. The man part of this duo happened to be a retired Episcopal priest. For many reasons, organized religion was difficult for my kids, especially my dear son. Perhaps the most notable of these issues, was linked to acolyte duties and the person who commanded these young charges. This was the late 1990’s and the adult leader ascribed to a stricter viewpoint of appropriate attire than the group of acolytes. Wristwatches were verboten, as were certain shoes, hairstyles, etc. My son mentioned this to the fishing priest. His reply was perfect for my son, and my thanks to him are immeasurable. He said, “What?!!! No watches? Why? You don’t need a building or to be an acolyte to serve.” Then he swept his arms far and wide and said, “This is where God is. You are in church right here, right now.” And, of course, he was and is right. The center of our being surrounds us wherever we are.

All of which brings me to my Sundays of laundry doing. For me, the highlights of any day here at FOY are the encounters with friends, be it a wave, a brief hello, or a longer chat. Sunday morning – early – like around 8:00, Linda and I (and sometimes her husband) do our respective laundries. Most of the time we visit while advancing our loads, but there are times when we are out of sync and conversation isn’t as easy. (One of us is just beginning the task and the other is heavy into folding) Linda and I have had some wonderful, insightful, cherished conversations, a few of which occurred in the laundry room, and some that didn’t. You may shake your head and feel that “church” and Sunday laundry room conversation are two entirely different beasts, but I think you would be mistaken. There is a spiritual element to both living and life itself. And that would be EXACTLY what we would be doing. Perhaps it is multi-tasking. There is the laundry, and at the same time we mull over the things that are on our minds, we pep talk each other, and wish each other well as we finish our task. Hmmmm……sounds familiar, only with a little less guilt.

May peace and joy surround you on this day.

 

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8 Responses to The Sunday Church at St. Laundry

  1. Herb and Janette says:

    So envious of that laundromat. Unfortunately our local one here which I use, has seen better days!!

  2. msdaisie says:

    I think they replaced both the washers and dryers last summer. The dryers are huge! It is a nice feature at the park.

  3. lindahanson935@gmail.com says:

    How lovely. I Couldn’t agree with you more and thank you for insights into our wonderful conversations. Jan I am really going to miss our Sunday morning “service” till next year. ❤️linda

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  4. John Macy says:

    Love both your humor and right-on insights about “real life” and spirituality! Thanks for posting.

  5. Karen Macy says:

    You’re SOOOO awesome, dear girl!!!

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