Tuesday, January 24, 2012
It has been 6 months since we packed up our home and started on this adventure. 6 months of living in 400 square feet of temporary housing. 6 months of not knowing when this will end. 6 months of fighting with my teeny tiny kitchen. 6 months since we packed away my washer and dryer. It has been hard for me to choose to pack up all of my stuff and take a 25 year step backwards to a dormitory style of living, which includes the Laundromat.
Laundromats and I do not get along. I am the kind of person who plays by the rules. I attempt to be courteous to others and I am always hoping others will treat me in kind. I think there are rules for behavior when other people’s time is at stake. My #1 Laundromat rule is (because it has happened to me twice) DO NOT STEAL THE DRYERS! Who comes into a Laundromat where all the washers are busy and fills up all of the dryers with no regard to the washing person? 15 years ago was the first time this happened to me and I still talk about it. It is remembered as the “Horrible, Awful, No Good Day.” Then a few months back, it happened again.
Who has this done to them twice in one lifetime??
So, with this enormous chip on my shoulder is there any hope for God to use my laundry time for good? Well, yes…
6 months ago I would have told you that no good can come from laundry day. But I am here to tell you, it has become one of my favorite days of the week. Joshua and I begin our day by going out into the town to the grocery store and the doughnut shop, getting all that we need for the morning and visiting with people all the way. We then head for the laundry room which is right by the mobile home park office.
Almost as soon as we arrive, the gathering begins. I love visiting with the park staff and all the people that are stopping by the office. No two days are alike. The office is in the middle of the park and people stop as they are driving by or walk in for a visit. Often the manager’s family is around. It has turned into a great opportunity to meet people.
Joshua has made friends so he can play while I work. I have had the opportunity to turn casual acquaintances into the beginnings of friendship. Life is about people and relationships. I am learning that if I yield to God He can turn something as dreadful as using a Laundromat into a wonderful blessing where lives can become interwoven. I am trusting Him with the messy bits of my existence and looking forward to what we do next.
Posts from the Trailer Park ~ Catherine
Friday, January 13, 2012
Growing up, our home was captivating. We lived on a farm in Massachusetts in a log cabin. By December, there was often snow on the ground and our home was a wonderland. The trees would become heavy-laden with snow and we would watch out of frosted windows for the red cardinal to show up bouncing from bough to bough. The chickadees would fight over the suet hanging just beyond the window pane. Our wood stove and fire place would pump all of their warmth and light into our home. The wood stove was in the kitchen and my mother had positioned an old rocking chair right beside it. How I loved to be in my mother’s kitchen. I would rock there as she conjured up the most comforting of foods.
We talked in the kitchen. The subject did not always matter; Birds, bees, boys - whatever teenagers and their mothers talk about. Our lives were shared right there amidst pots, pans, and dishes. She had an 8 track on top of the refrigerator and from October on, sounds of Christmas would fill the warm air. Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole would croon to us while we talked. Laughing, dancing, and singing were all part of our days.Our lives were far from perfect. Dad had left us, we were very poor, and school was a hard place for me to be. From the outside it would seem like I was one of those kids who had no refuge and no place to be safe, but I had plenty. My mother wrapped me in so much good, that many days I was insulated from much of the pain.
It is not surprising that right there on that kitchen floor, by the wood stove and rocker, with music flowing from the eight track singing, “give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus, shattered dreams, wounded hearts, broken toys” that I asked Jesus to take my pain and help me, to come and live in my heart, and never leave me. I knew at that moment, without anyone telling me, that the gates of heaven opened up for me and I would never be the same.
I was fortunate that God gave me a mother with such a gift for creating love and warmth. She was the one to hold me and listen to me, to teach and guide me. In the following years, our conversations were often about God and living a Christian life. She discipled me right there while cooking dinners and washing dishes.
In the years that followed, I strayed from the warmth and comfort of my mother’s kitchen and from the lessons she taught me there. No matter what choices I made, she and the Lord were always there. They never left me and always believed in me. In hind sight, I am grateful she took advantage of what little she had and the time available to make such a difference that has endured throughout my life.
Proverbs 31:28 Her children rise up and call her blessed.
Posts from the Trailer Park ~ Catherine