Monday, June 21, 2010

Missionary Monday - Laundry

Wanna see how I do laundry?

First, I wash in this front-loading washing machine that I have had for 7 years now. We recently had it serviced... for the very first time. I love my faithful friend that I spend time with on a daily basis... Isn't she a beauty?! (And, yes, as you can see in the picture, I CAN buy Tide laundry detergent here. They don't have liquid detergent yet, but I think it is coming soon because I have seen samples - although not Tide - attached to our liquid fabric softener.)

Most people here use washing machines that are a 2-in-1 washing machine/dryer. But from my experience of these machines, you still have to hang your clothes to dry when all of the cycles are done anyway. I guess the dryer part of it just gives you a head start. When we were able to buy our washing machine, we opted for a machine that JUST washes. I figured I would rather have my clothes super clean than half clean/half dry. I've never been a very big fan of all-in-one-technology anyway.

Now, dryers as we Americans know them, are a rare item in Ukraine. As a matter of fact, most people here do not know what they are, and I have yet to find a store that sells one. So, for the past (almost) 8 years, this is how I have dried my clothes:And, now that we are living in our new house, I have another option when I want to climb these stairs:In the picture below you can see part of the "roof area" of our home, which we plan to use as a second floor one day. Our dream is to one day build the boys a great big bedroom up here. For now, it makes great storage and an excellent place to hang my clothes... especially the sheets that I wash once a week.

I DO have to wash EVERY day, in order to have space on my clothes lines for all of my wet items. As soon as things dry, I start washing more clothes! And, I must confess that we re-wear a lot of clothing and even share towels to keep laundry at a minimum for our family of five.

And, doesn't this little invention look handy?! I love it for our small items, such as socks!One day we hope to put a clothes lines in our yard. We haven't done that yet because of all of the dirt outside. Since our home is still a "construction site," we do not have a lot of grass growing around our house. When we have a regular yard with grass, I will start hanging our clothes outside. But, for now, this system works well for me. Besides, nearly half of the year all Ukrainians hang their clothes indoor anyway because of the cold weather.

Since we do not have dryers, we also do not have dryer sheets. One day I received a forwarded e-mail in my inbox stating all of the wonderful things you can use dryer sheets for (not just for drying clothes). And, I thought, "Oh boy, if only they really knew who/where they sent this to!" I just laughed!
So, there you have it... laundry on the mission field... at least for me anyway! When I am tempted to feel sorry for myself for all of the extra time it takes to do laundry the "old-fashioned" way, I just remind myself of the dear missionary wives who lived in different centuries and think of how jealous they would be of my modern washing machine!


  1. Wow! That's a good washing machine - ours died after only 4 years! I just keep thinking about you going up that ladder with wet clothes later in your pregnancy. Be careful!! :-)

  2. Jolene, this is so much fun to see more of your life in the Ukraine! And, your sock hanger looks nifty! Hee. Hee. You are a blessing and inspiration my dear friend! *Hugs*

  3. Jolene, where did you find the sock hanger? I love your lines on your 2nd floor. How do you get by with only one clothes rack? I was so excited 7 yrs ago when we got here that there was Tide. That is one thing I stick to. I enjoy your blog, from a fellow missionary in Lviv.or

  4. wow.. i dont know how you do it!! i love seeing how you live there!!! so fun!!

  5. Greetings from stormy still Oregon...

    Yes indeed....the pics of your drying of washed clothes looks just like what I grew up with at home in New Jersey as a child. (1940's&50's) By the time I was a teen my parents were able to purchase a Bendix front load
    washer. Before that was the olde ringer in the back porch. We too had a choice of where to hang out clothes to dry....up in the big attic(like your pic) or down in the basement or outside weather permitting in summer.

    And, we, as married couple, didn't have a dryer until 1971, after 3rd child was born & a friend gave us a used one. Was thankful for a basement & lots of clothesline until then, too. Disposable diapers weren't available when
    our first 2 were born in the 1960's. Traveling & using cloth ones, was a odiferous experience, for sure. Yes, am dating myself, but that's okey... God's grace was and is still sufficient for you and I, in any country & situation.
    Thanks for info. Will keep praying for you.


  6. Dearest Jolene,

    I loved your post! Mostly because of the fun I have had hanging out laundry in the village! We lived in a board house made by the villagers, and the clothes line was right outside our bedroom. I could smell the fabric softener from inside the house, as the wind blew my clothes dry; and I loved it!!!

    The sunshine and the exact amount of wind allowed my laundry to dry within 2 or 3 hours....

    I usually hung my clothes out just as the village women were taking their children to the kinder-garden, and we got a chance to chat.

    You are making memories, Lady! One of these days, you're gonna have a modern dryer and will look back on these days as the best ones in your life. Enjoy them!

    Please pray we will be able to move back to the village. Andrew is actually already working back there again, and the people have provided a house for us. He is getting it in shape for us to move back. Pray, pray, pray! I really miss it.

    Love you and enjoy your blog posts!!!!


  7. I just read your blog post about your laundry. :o) Cute. I hang up my laundry, too. And I even have a pila (David will know what that is) that I have used several times. ;o) I don't prefer that option, though. After all, I AM a spoiled American! haha! PLUS, my husband's jeans are HEAVY when they are soaking wet. haha!

  8. Love your beautiful washing machine!! I remember when we were in evangelism and we found a sock dryer like yours. So glad that the Lord has given you those conveniences and a sweet spirit to deal with those you are doing without :)

  9. Laurel,

    I found the sock hanger at a store here called "Shen" that sells all types of household items. Just look for a place that sells buckets, brooms, the big clothing hangers, etc... and maybe you'll find one too! Just print a picture and carry it with you when you ask. :)

    As far as your question about how I do with only one clothing hanger... Well, I ask myself the same question! I have another one on my list of things I need soon!

  10. Thanks for sharing! Since you built your house, will it be there for you when you get back?


Thank you for your encouraging comments! "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." Proverbs 25:25