Laundry

Too many options: white, stainless steel, stackable, gas, electric, top loaders, front loaders, gadgets galore.  I remember when Mom first got a wringer washer:  a circular miracle with an attached roller to wring the laundry.  Before that, she soaked dirty diapers in the bathtub for hours and removed stains with a washboard.  As laborious as it was, she preferred to wash laundry by hand in the privacy of her home than to carry a load downhill to the river as she did as a child.  Once she got that first washer, laundry became Mom’s favorite task.  She still launders daily.

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A Matter of Survival

Mom gave me Dad’s handkerchief to cover my mouth and nose. She fanned out my long hair on the bed then sprayed it with Black Flag.  Yes, the very Black Flag used to kill insects.  Then she wrapped it tight in a white towel.  “That’ll suffocate those sons-of-bitches.”

She instructed me to remain still on the bed. I wondered why she used Black Flag on my head and not Alberto VO5.

She returned to the room. “Honey!  Honey!” she called out to Dad.  “Look!”

A long trail of straggling lice exited slowly from the toxic gases trapped in my head.