We start every week on Tuesdays.
First step is sorting the laundry.
Then we carry the first load up the stairs to the attic (yes, the attic). Our water-saving front-load washer will take 1 1/2 hours for this load of "darks" on cold. Whites, even on the energy-saving setting of 60° C (140° F), take closer to 3 hours.
Next, we'll hang them out to dry--usually inside. As is typical in many Dutch homes, the drying racks hang over the steep, slightly spiral stairwell.
We do have a drier, but only use it for towels and emergencies. Air drying is better for the environment, the energy bill, the clothes, and our sinuses.
Does this seem like a lot of time and trouble to you? It doesn't to me. You see, on Tuesdays, I often think of our Roma sisters in Moldova.
One lady we visited recently was also doing laundry. She lived in this new house on the edge of the village.
She said she would really like to have a washing machine since doing laundry by hand for all five members of the household was difficult.
I wondered whether she even had running water connected to her house.
And, even if she did, would she be able to pay for the water and electricity a washing machine would take? Would there be room for it in the house?
Was there room for five people in that house?
I think of this woman, as I hang up my own laundry in a well-insulated house with central heating as well as hot and cold running water, all of which we can easily afford. Life is not fair. Laundry is not fair.
But one day she and I may sit down to the same banqueting table dressed in spotless clothes which we will never have to launder!