I did hand washing in our room.


Eventually, wherever you are, mundane necessities of life show up.

Hand washing 101 happened on this trip. Parents taught their offspring to dip, squeeze, dip, squeeze in soapy water. Then repeat in a basin/sink of fresh water: dip-squeeze, dip-squeeze.

Then comes the wringing. It seems surprising that wringing does not necessarily come naturally. Folding an item in half or thirds and twisting tighter and tighter wrings out most of the water.


Doing this simple task in the Holy Land brings to mind questions of how the Israelites of the Bible may have done this. As a mother, I’ve cringed over an ad of the eighties where someone took a large mallet to a watermelon to prove a point. I have no idea what point.


My kids would say, “Mama, don’t look,” ‘cause they didn’t want to hear me say “Just who is going to clean up that mess?”


I also cringe a little every time I read of the freshly-made priestly garments being sanctified by applying blood and by pouring oil on the head of the wearer.


I understand the symbolism pointing forward to our Savior’s blood applied to us when we accept His free gift of salvation. I wonder if part of the message is also, “Don’t look at the finery of this elevated office of priest. It is not the garment or the man I want you to see. It is the blood that sets him apart to serve the Most High God.” No earthly man may dare to represent the Holy God Almighty in his own strength or will.


But practically, I still wonder: Did they wash the garment? Or did the blood stay permanently staining the priest’s garment? Have you never wondered this?

Back to our mundane washing so we won’t stink. One of my family members came up with an innovative alternative to the dip-squeeze method. He wore his shirt in the shower and soaped his underarms vigorously. Voila, shirt and body clean in one operation. (??)

When our ABR group was up-graded to a sister hotel … 3-star to 4-star …  one of the evidences of being higher classed was a built-in clothes line over the tub. Another familiar phrase comes to mind: a reference to the “unwashed masses.”


Back at the Ritz, dearest and I had been careful to hang our laundry out on the balcony, but below the railing so it would not be a blot on the neighborhood. We didn’t know until much later that week that our carefully concealed colorful underwear was on full display through a window in the stairwell when anyone took the stairs to the Rooftop Terrace. Ahem.