Flash fiction based on this photo–
“I’ll take that,” I said, pointing.
“That old wringer?” my older sister said. “Thing doesn’t even work.”
“Piece of junk,” my younger sister said. “Doesn’t even have the tub anymore.”
“I want it,” I said.
My older sister shrugged. She and my younger sister resumed their debate over Grandmother’s china.
I took the wringer outside and laid it in the back seat of my car. I didn’t care if it left rust stains on the upholstery. I could hear my brothers arguing in the garage over how to divvy up Grandmother’s lawn tools.
On all but the coldest days Grandmother’s laundry room had been warm. It had clear windows on three sides, like a greenhouse. Sunlight was all the light she needed for her chores.
Grandmother stubbornly clung to her old hand-wrung tub washer long after everyone else had acquired automatic models. Old fossil, was what my father called her.
She did laundry twice a week. We would talk while the old machine whined and thrashed the clothes back and forth. Talking was the best part. I helped her wring the clothes out, especially when her hands became gnarled and hurt her so much.
Memory is a funny thing.