Last night I did something that I hadn’t done since 1975, when I was 15 years old and the world was a very different place: I hung out freshly washed clothes on the clothesline at the Manse in Queensborough, Ont.
The Manse (my childhood home, which is why I was last seen hanging out laundry here in 1975) came with a washing machine when Raymond and I bought it last year. But until yesterday we hadn’t dared to try using the washer: partly because we didn’t need to (we were only here in Queensborough on the occasional weekend, and our full-time life in Montreal included a nice new washer and dryer); and partly because we were afraid to (Would it work? Would it leak water all over the floor?); and partly because the washer is (very oddly and inconveniently) located in the pantry/kitchen, right beside the oven and across from the sink. Who does laundry in the same space where dinner gets cooked?
But with almost a week’s worth of dirty laundry piling up since our official move here last Saturday, and the weather forecast good for today and not good for several days thereafter, I made an executive decision last night that we had to try the washing machine and get the laundry out on the line.
(Oh – have I mentioned that the Manse’s dryer is not really functional? So there’s that. As a result, we have to get the clothes dried on the clothesline as long as that’s possible into the fall-winter season. And yes, I know that some people put clothes on the line in the dead of winter. But if you ask me, a frozen-stiff piece of laundry is not the same as a dry piece of laundry.)
So long story long, the washing machine turned out to be almost, but not quite, functional. The hot water worked; the cold water did not. What to do? Only one possibility: call up our neighbour Ed, to see what he might recommend on the plumber front. People, here is one reason why I LOVE living in Queensborough: practically before I had put the receiver down, Ed was at the door, plier-type tool in hand, and a very short time thereafter he had the washer functioning just fine. And while Ed and Raymond then proceeded to shoot the breeze, I happily did several loads of laundry.
And hung them out to dry. And kind of felt like my life was complete. Which it pretty much was. And is.