It is way to easy to take the little things in life for granted. Some of my most memorable moments of peace and comfort have come when simply washing the dishes. I seldom use the dishwasher because doing them by hand is rewarding for me. I like how the dishes feel to my hands when they are sparkling clean, and i enjoy the challenge of arranging them in the drainer so there is room for all.
Another simple pleasure that i truly enjoy is resting for a few moments with my kitty curled up on my lap. She seems to always know where to rest her loving weight, and her desire to comfort any pain is evident. Just a tiny little brain can give and receive so much love! Everyone should love a cat. I have a sign in my Ohio home that simply reads, “Life is better with a cat.” For me, this is true; especially since my life’s mate left four years ago. My kitty has understood my grief and stayed close.
The simple pleasure and pure joy of it has never diminished: That joy is the satisfaction and love I get and give while folding clothes for my family. In the busy days with five people in the home, we would often toss huge piles of clean clothes on the sofa. I loved making five piles and carefully adding to each as the items were caressed and tenderly folded. I often prayed for each family member as one of their socks or shirts worked its way to the surface.
They are all gone now, and the only clothes i get to fold are my own. I still make laundry time a sort of meditation, however; but the reward and love once present has diminished considerably. Most missed is folding work clothes for Steven. His long underwear in the winter and chalk-stained t-shirts in the summer brought such happiness to my fingers. He worked so hard for our livelihood and never complained about the long hours or harsh elements. Hugging him each and every day at his random-hour homecoming remains one of my fondest memories. I could always tell the change in the seasons by the smell of the sawdust on his strong shoulders. “Dad is coming soon…” was the simple announcement each evening as the children and I prepared by tidying the house and ourselves.
The simple pleasure of timing dinner to be hot and ready as he finished cleaning out his truck and then entered the kitchen after a his shower was a challenge and a delight for me for all the years we sojourned together. How I miss those simple pleasures now. I would love to struggle with his heavy work clothes and create a lovely dish just for him again.
Whatever food I prepared (and it was never the same meal twice) had to be colorful and appealing to his eye. The simple pleasure of arranging it on his plate, serving him first (always) and watching his delight brought pure joy into my daily routine; and into the lives of our children, too. We had our meals as a family and he was honored as the King and Priest of our home; for it was by the sweat of HIS brow our food was provided.
Sometimes i did resent the long hours; and we fussed about it in the early years when caring for the children was harder. As the years unfolded, however, the simple pleasure of serving my hard-working, Christian lover far outweighed my own petty selfish wants.
Living with a man of his character and dedication changed me from the selfish brat of my teens into a committed, loving and supportive help meet.
Now all his heavy work clothes are in boxes in the garage. The dinner plates are boring and often the fare is too. I hope my selfish ways are gone forever, though sometimes I see the ugly wanting to resurface. Then I snuggle with kitty, spend time in the Bible and prayer; and remember how truly grand life was when the simple pleasures of housework and laundry filled my days.
To any lady reading this I exhort you to treasure each load of laundry. Make meal preparation your art form, and hold on tightly to your man at his home-coming hug. Smile and be content so he feels like the dragon slayer. Treat him like a King, and he will make you His Queen. I promise. After all, with as much time as he must spend away from you, remember that you can do ANYTHING for the few hours you have with him…even be happy. Love and respect him while you can so the regret load is light should you one day find the only clothes you fold are your own.