Weeks ago I lament the loss of use of the beautiful turquoise shirt I bought in Kohl’s with Marjie and Naomi in New York. I loved the color. I loved that it was thin so it dried quickly, it was bright, fun, friendly looking, and easy to wear. It was my best, most comfortable shirt. I wondered if I could convince people the stain going down half my breast is the shirt’s design.
In Sandy Bay I used my bath soap, Zest with aloe, in the bathroom sink and didn’t do a thing. I looked up from my writing, saw it hanging over an empty bunk in this dorm, and was saddened by the stain that is so blatant. There is lots of bleach around the homes on Roatan…. Maybe soon, I thought to myself, you will see me wearing a thin, white or pale blue v-neck shirt that looks remarkably like my old favorite turquoise shirt.
My friend Delia had told me the sun bleaches fabrics and it would come out. We forget these things when we live with clothing drying machines. The heat of those driers actually sets stains. So, Delia’s words in mind, days later I used a scrubbing board, then hung it out in the sun to dry. A bit better, but still clearly stained. Next, a strong laundry detergent and more scrubbing board. Would there be any shirt left? I was reminded of how hard the laundry women in India scrubbed our clothing. The clothes were always clean but we figured the life of each garment was greatly shortened.
A few weeks, several towns and a country later, after maybe four washes, my shirt was back to wearable! In fact, today I wore it and Adrian complimented it saying it looked good on me.
I have been loving wearing my sun-dried clothing, but after this I have a whole new respect for the sun and nature.