The holidays are over and so, almost, is the month of Tishrei. To be truthful, I can hardly remember going through a more intensely challenging period. Among all the busy flurry of holidays, we've also had to cope with stomach bug, fevers, sore throats and coughs, visiting each of us in turn and sometimes more than one person at a time. I'm still feeling rather ill as I write, but hopefully, it will be over soon. And now we're back to our normal routine, and to the many projects that have been put aside and saved for later.
One aspect I found particularly challenging during Sukkot was laundry. It is a custom of Chol Hamoed (the days of the festival) not to do the washing unless absolutely necessary. And so, while I knew we had enough clothes to last us through one week (although the girls did come very close to using up all their underwear), I felt something very much like panic when I looked at the mountainous pile of dirty washing taking up much of my balcony space. It doesn't help that in this house, I don't have a proper utility room - my washing machine and laundry baskets are outside.
*Illustration: overflowing laundry basket
So, as a last desperate measure, I decided to do what I can to slow down the exponential growth of the laundry pile. I didn't change hand towels in the kitchen and bathroom as often as I'm used to. At the end of each day, I examined my children's clothes; if they only had a little dust or sand on them, or some little stains, they would wear that item again. There was also a skirt of mine muddied by dog paws - instead of tossing it on top of the already-full laundry basket, I kept it aside and put it on again, whenever I had to go and feed the dog or take her for a walk.
Of course, I still have a lot of washing to do now that the holidays are over, but today I started on it and hopefully it will all be tackled before long, together with many other things. However, I also understood that perhaps I could apply the laundry-saving method on a permanent basis, since none of us appeared to suffer form it. It could help lower our electricity and water bill, and it would also save me work.
I hope to be back soon, and also hope I will be able to tell we are all well now. I'm looking forward to sharing with you some of the things we did on holiday, and wishing you a happy season of autumn, or spring - depending on where in the world you are.