Easy Adventure

I am pleased to announce that my poem, “Dinosaur Aloft,” will be posted on the League of Canadian Poets’ National Poetry Month Blog on April 26. Weeks ago when I received the call for entry I submitted the poem, and was soon notified that it had been juried in. A lovely boost before surgery! Do check out the other poems, as well. All poems on the blog will be archived there for the rest of the year.

Grueling adventure

I have survived hip replacement surgery and, four weeks later, am in the recovery period. The wooziness and pain are mostly gone. I am still hobbling with a walker, but able to get out to the corner for a newspaper. Of necessity my focus has been close to home. I’m grateful to be able to do small tasks: preparing oatmeal in the microwave, washing dishes in the sink.

Until I have the surgeons okay to bend the hip in certain ways, I am getting help with light housekeeping and laundry. What a fortuitous seque into this month’s blog! There is no separate issue of Montage in May, so I am revising/reviving this article from Montage many years ago.

Reflections on Identity

They say we define ourselves through our choices. I have always enjoyed choosing simple things I really like for daily use. One such choice that gave me a lot of pleasure was an unusual laundry hamper that attracted me as soon as I saw it at the store. Upright, freestanding, white fabric mesh on a wire frame, with handles, it can be used for carrying dirty clothes to the laundry room. I enjoyed the elegant, light-hearted design.

Soon after I moved into the building where I now live, this laundry hamper was much commented on. In the laundry room it was a useful conversation starter. In fact, so many people commented on it that I tried an experiment. I filled it with l balloons and walked up and down the hallways with it. No one noticed the balloons, but several people commented on the hamper itself. I tried another experiment. This time I walked up and down the halls not carrying anything, and people still stopped me to ask if I were the one with the unusual laundry hamper.

I could see that this was becoming my signature piece. One person in my bridge group at the community centre down the street, when I mentioned where I lived, said she’d heard there was someone in that building a very unusual laundry hamper. At a party in Scarborough, when I mentioned I lived in North Toronto, someone said he’d heard about a strange laundry basket in that area. Not long afterwards, when I went to Vancouver, someone who heard I was from Toronto said…

You get the idea. At first I was annoyed at being identified so closely with a laundry hamper: surely I am a full human being. Then, on reflection, I appreciated the implications. By association, I was considered upright, freestanding, whimsical, elegantly designed, light-weight, domestic, and clean. Fine qualities to be defined by. Much more acceptable than the qualities of the paper-shredder I’d bought around the same time.


Ten years after this article was written, I now use a wheeled hamper. People still stop me and ask where I got it, as if I am so clever! Does no one else browse the laundry-equipment shelves at Solutions or Canadian Tire or Home Hardware?