Sunday Photo Fiction– Memory

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.


4 thoughts on “Sunday Photo Fiction– Memory”

  1. That was a nice story Doug. It reminded me of my Nana. She used to tell me stories about my Dad when he was a little boy. I loved staying at her apartment. She didn’t have a mangle, but she did have a washing machine with a cone shaped agitator with a handle that you lifted up and down and the water went through holes. Did a brilliant job of washing the clothes 😀

    1. Thanks– some those older machines that actually required human intervention at some point actually did a better job than fully automated ones. There may be a philosophical point of some kind behind that somewhere…

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