It seems that when I was quite young, I had a bit of trouble learning the all-important life skill of doing chores when I would rather have been playing (come to think of it, that’s still something that gives me a bit of trouble). So Dad came up with the plan of teaching me how to make work into a game. While I don’t remember that exactly, I do remember as I grew older.
Many were the hours I spent traveling around the world, though in body I was scrubbing floors or washing windows. How much more fun it was to smuggle soap in to Jewish prisoners, than to rub at the dirty dishes! When picking up around the house, I became a mail carrier in a small town, hailing my friends as I dropped off packages. Chopping up vegetables turned into being a cook in a wealthy household, being sure to save large scraps for the poor. While raking the grass I was, of course, a girl in Old Testament times, gleaning the leftover harvest.
The most handy thing about all this came during those times I was in the house alone and something went bump. All I had to do was take up the sword of my imagination and ahah! The would-be kidnapper/assassin/robber was outsmarted by my guile and taken away in handcuffs. Or better yet, he would have a dramatic conversion and turn himself in.
There were drawbacks to my “games”, however… While folding clothes may be an ordinary boring thing to do, it really doesn’t take long. Unless, of course, the jumpsuit tugs you off for a waltz in the corner and then the lacy dress pulls you over to a tea party on the window seat. Sorting socks can be a rather lengthy process, also, when each sock is a character in the drama, desperately trying to find its mate… But most disconcerting of all, I must say, is listening to the weeds scream and threat and whine as you are pulling them, even if the flowers are giving a happy sigh of relief.
But while some in the family might wish, at times, that I hadn’t been granted quite such a thorough imagination, I can’t imagine how boring life must be without it… ;-) So, next time you’re washing dishes and get frustrated over that one spot that won’t come off of the broiler pan, take a minute to build islands and bridges with the soapsuds. But make sure it is only a few minutes. Otherwise your water will get cold and the suds will disappear. Trust me, I know.