I always sing as I wash the woollen garments in the yard, keeping my mind upon the Lord.  In the winter, I shiver as I plunge my hands into the water, my fingers almost as numb as my heart.  Nothing seems to ease the chill.

In the summer, by heck it’s warm work!  This is the English way; we are only happy when complaining about the weather.  A bead of sweat falls onto my ear.  I shrug it away.  I remain fixed upon the Lord while washing, lest I remember that day.

His mother said he’d always been a devil child.  She wished she’d drowned him at birth.  She got her wish twenty-three years too late.  He barged into my yard in as drunken state as ever, with plenty of the devil in him.  Still, the drink had weakened his strength and it was over quickly enough.

I went straight to the chapel to seek the Lord’s blessing for having carried out His work.  An hour later, I screamed for the constable, having found a drunkard dead in my wash tub.  The priest prayed for God to wash away the drunkard’s sins.  I have no sins to wash away.  I simply do the Lord’s work.

I was given the words, “A bead of sweat”, and I’d just finished doing the laundry – we wash by hand in our household, and I dread winter coming because the water is cold enough in the hot weather!


About catherinehume

Catherine Hume: Writer, social care worker and a liver of a life less ordinary.
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