This morning I was thankful for dryer lint. I try to stay in a mindset of thankfulness, but . . . dryer lint?
DRYER LINT: fuzzy, useless stuff that collects in the dryer screen; an annoyance that must be cleaned out and thrown away. (from Jean’s book of definitions found only in her mind)
You see, I remember before dryer lint. I can remember baby blankets being hung on clothes lines with red, chapped, freezing hands. The baby blankets froze into pastel colored boards – hard as Formica on a cabinet top. I remember the winter wind jerking my hair and making my ears smart in the cold. It felt as though the wind was driving the cold right through my coat.
Later, I looked out the window to see that the wind had snapped the baby blankets in two – just like snapping a graham cracker – with the frozen halves tossing about the yard like tumble weeds in a desert ghost town. I had to run around the yard chasing after the pieces of blankets as the wind played “keep way” blowing them this way and that. Somehow I managed to get the broken blanket halves and bring them inside before they were blown clean out of sight.
Lest you think I am 839 years old, lots of people had automatic washing machines when I was growing up, but my mother was a Thoroughly Modern Millie. When I was a teenager we had the only washer/dryer combo machine I have ever seen. Daddy loved gadgets and inventions that saved time. He bought Mother a front loading machine that both washed and dried the clothes. I believe it was a Bendix, but it could have been a Maytag. We put in dry, dirty clothes and took out dry, clean clothes. And we had dryer lint. We were affluent and didn’t know it. See? I’m not that old.
Back to dryer lint. Dryer lint in the screen means I don’t have to go outside in the searing summer heat and hang clothes while fighting off mosquitoes or yellow jackets and I don’t have to worry about bird poo on my favorite blouse. The neighbor’s dog is not going to see my clothes dancing in the wind and think they are scary monsters he needs to attack, shredding my favorite quilt, and dragging my sheets through the mud.
Dryer lint means getting to stay inside in the freezing cold. I can wash on a rainy day if I want and get my clothes dry. It means I don’t have to starch and iron everything except my undies. Well, I guess that was a little TMI [too much information]. (blush) Forgive me.
Since I left home to marry at age 17, I’ve washed clothes in a wringer washer with two rinse tubs. It took all morning to do the wash and hang it on the line. Not to mention having to starch the outer clothes. Then taking them off the line, sprinkling them with water, rolling them up so they would mellow into the same dampness throughout . . . eating lunch . . . and then ironing all afternoon. There was lint, but it wasn’t in the dryer screen, it was on the clothes!
I’ve washed little boys jeans and dirty diapers in the bathtub when I had no washer at all, using my knuckles to scrub out the dirt, wringing them out by hand . . . my knuckles bleeding . . . and then hanging them on the line to dry. There was no dryer lint.
Dryer lint is not an annoyance. Dryer lint is a blessing. We take so much for granted. Probably more than half of the women in the world have never seen dryer lint. And to those women who still have to hang their clothes on a line; for those who have to wash their clothes in the creek or the river and hang them on bushes to dry, my heart goes out to you. May God bless you.
I have many, many blessings; and many, many things for which I am thankful. Thank you, Lord, for dryer lint and all it represents.
“to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord, and likewise at evening;” I Chronicles 23:30
© Geneva Jean Moon and The Passionate Heart, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Geneva Jean Moon and The Passionate Heart with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.