Sunday, October 16, 2011

Washing clothes, traveling and Occupying Everywhere

So in Dad's short letter he mentions washing machines. There seem to me to be a number of stories around washing clothes or washing machines. While Dad was hanging out at CPS our mother was hanging clothes in Chicago and our uncle Bruce her brother ended up serving time in prison as a conscientious objector. Evidently when he applied for CO status, someone was sent around to check up on the Edwards family and one of the stories mom told us was that one of the neighbors mentioned that the Edwardses did their laundry on Sunday. I think this was a sign that they were not religious. Mom said that they did wash once on Sunday but it was usually an all day job on Monday. When Tim and I and Jenny lived off the grid in Hillsboro for 6 years laundry was a major challenge. In fact Jenny and I brought along our electric washing machine which we could not plug in and it set on our porch for a couple of months, then one day Ben and Dorene who had moved down from Canada and bought the General Store Cafe mentioned they needed a washing machine, this was while we were eating at their cafe. Tim said we have one and that we could trade it for food, I think I was in a state of shock, in this new culture where you could trade a washing machine for food. I think it took us about half a year to eat through that trade. When we moved there Tim had a gas powered machine and it was started by pulling on a cord the way you start a gas powered lawn mower. My problem as an economically sized person was that what was an easy start for Tim was a challenge for me, I tried standing on a crate and pulling it but i was too slow. finally I ordered a James washer, which i and the local children (other than Jenny) enjoyed using. Of course it was a challenge for Tim as it was well sized for those around 4 ft or 5 ft tall, not 6 ft. Now we have passed on both of those machines to people who can use them and we have a low use washing machine and Tim has managed a system for recycling the grey water. Dad is starting to plan a spring trip home and as I write Jenny and Chris and their two cats Yogurt and Granola are traveling south from upstate New York to Houston, Tx. Due to arrive tomorrow. It is interesting to think of travels and big moves. Our folks meet in Chicago and left there in 1946 or 47 and moved to Colorado where we all grew up. My sister Bonnie went off to college in Minnesota and then moved to Tennessee where she is now living. I went to college and then moved down here to New Mexico after I graduated 35.years ago. This week our sister Carol and her husband Phil are off in Hawaii celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. It is exciting to have Jenny and Chris closer to us. The last topic is to mention the news of the month is the surge of 99% ers and the Occupy wall street movement. It was enjoyable to see people out on the streets of Las Cruces. As we passed them and honked I told Tim it's great and it isn't us out there. Our friend Mary Burton came over from Tucson and said she had participated and found it refreshing and frustrating as any new movement might be. i was just thinking that this Idea of the 99% will be fun to use when I'm teaching percents in a few weeks.

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