Washer Girl


We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.
~ Charles Kingsley
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I went to the laundromat today. Seemingly a mundane task, and do not get me wrong, I do not mind doing laundry, I just do NOT like paying for it. For this reason, I usually will load everything into the car and drive 150 miles to my dad's house to hang out with him and just as importantly get clean socks. Of course this is based upon a schedule that usually does not allow me two days off in a row, so my time as a Victoria's Secret cashier is still paying off since I (in theory) do not need to laundry for a minimum of a month and a half. Plus, I am no longer allowed to do it because I spend too many quarters...
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But I highly doubt you want to know the details of my clothing, that really is not the topic of today's blog. It is the conversation I had while in the laundromat with an elderly lady. I inherited my Dad's ability to talk to strangers; even though I have a phobia of telephones. This gift is how I can be in a buffet line and learn about the pancake maker's eighteen month old son. There really is one topic most everyone wants to or is able to talk about and that is themselves. How many personal blogs (Broken Girl included) are out there for crying out loud?
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The thing is does anyone listen? We spend so much time wrapped up in ourselves or the false lives of TV/movie/book characters or tabloid section that do we never look at our neighbor, our close friends, our own family to find out what it is that makes them tick.
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The lady today is eighty years old. Her husband and she are from a state away but are staying at a local campground. They are staying for the rest of the year because the husband has to do dialysis three times a week and it is easier to get it near here than back home, and they enjoy being around here. They have a large family with multiple grandkids and great-grandkids.
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They have lost one son and still speak with his wife and she would move up here to be with them if she could get a job around here. The kids come up every weekend to bring the mail and check on them. How great is that? So much love in the family, so much life lived! She had to ask her daughter just how long she (the lady I was speaking with) and her husband had been married because she remembered her fiftieth anniversary but the ones that followed just blurred.
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For all of this though, both she and her husband are ready to die at any time. They just want to go to sleep and never wake up. They have lived a good life and even in the hard times came through it. There is nothing more they want to do.
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I am glad I got to speak with this lady, whom I do not even have a name for, it got me thinking of how many stories each person has and how many get lost because no one listens.

2 comments:

Gwei Mui June 18, 2010 at 12:35 AM  

So true, I think we spend so much time rushing about worrying bout "stuff" that we have become more introverted. I make a conscious effort every time I go out to remember not to rush, to give the strange who asks directions, to talk to the older person who happens to want to chat, to smile and to say hello.

A True Believer June 30, 2010 at 3:58 PM  

First of all, I want to listen. Secondly, Yahweh always listens to His children. In fact, the true difficulty is in our listening to Him... He honestly talks to us all the time - although many simply don't realize it!

Rather than getting preachy, however, I merely want to say: "I Love You!" And, I mean it! You are someone: entirely unique, immensely valuable, and imminently special, and the world is a much better place for having you in it.

More importantly, Your Father In Heaven LOVES You even more than I and He will be sending His Son back to get you shortly! Hang in there and be patient just a little while longer... you'll be glad you did, I promise.

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