Monthly Archives: June 2010

Laundry-The Megabeast

photo by Mckaysavage

photo by Mckaysavage

You may have gathered from my title that I HATE laundry.  Sorting and washing and even drying is not so awful, but folding and carrying it to the far ends of the house. . .blech.  In fact, if I was told that I could hire someone to keep one chore completely done at my house, it would most definitely be the laundry.

So as most people do when they hate a chore, I put it off.  I typically do laundry once a week, sometimes every 10 days, or whenever someone moves into the “just in case” underwear stash (you know which ones).  As a result, with four people, I end up with anywhere from five to seven loads of laundry every time.  And that doesn’t include sheets and couch throws and all those other things that only get washed once a month or so (if that. . .I know, you think it’s gross).

Since I’ve been staying home, my laundry problem has actually gotten worse.  I’m not sure how, but more time at home leads to MORE laundry piling up instead of less.  I’ve been trying to get to the bottom of this issue for a few weeks.  Laundry and keeping up the budget are my two chores that seem to ALWAYS be behind.  So I thought, what do these two chores have in common?  The answer? I have no system.  Because I have no system, I tend to put them off until there are piles of dirty clothes taking over the laundry room and stacks of receipts and bills everywhere.  With the laundry, someone being out of something is usually the catalyst to have a “laundry day.”  I’m ashamed to say, getting a late notice or e-mail reminder about a bill that’s coming due is often the catalyst to get the finances caught up.  Since I’m not superwoman (nowhere close), I’m conquering one thing at a time.  This week’s project is to get the laundry caught up and develop a system, so it stays caught up.  The psychological component to conquer is the fact that when I get overwhelmed and don’t know where to start to get something done, I don’t. . .start. . .until it’s a disaster.

So far today, I’ve washed 5 loads of laundry (not done yet!) and put away all the clean clothes that were sitting around the laundry room waiting to be carried to their various homes.  That was step one.  Next, I implement my new and improved system. Every single day, I will spend five minutes (or less. . I timed it!) sorting all of the laundry in the basket for the day.  When a load accumulates (I estimate every 2 days), I will wash it, dry it, and put it away.  The time it takes to move one load from washer to drawer will be significantly less on a daily or every other day basis than the time it takes to move my mountain of laundry from washer to drawer.  It’s a grand experiment.  I’ll let you know how it works!

I Miss Her

I’m currently out of town, helping my mom go through and clean out the house my “Nana” has lived in my whole life. We are sorting through her things, deciding what to keep and what to toss. . .and what to do with it all.  Normally, this is a process that occurs after someone dies. Our situation is different.  My Nana is alive and physically doing pretty well. About eight months ago, she moved to a nursing home because her mind is going. . .some days almost gone.  She has dementia, which I have now come to know as one of the ugliest diseases in existence.  She didn’t know me when I last went to visit, or rather didn’t recognize me.  Her mind is stuck in another decade, where I’m a much younger person.  Once we explained my identity, she knew me for a while and we had a moment of connection.  A moment where I felt I was saying goodbye.  And it hurt.  A lot.  She has been one of the most influential people I’ve had the pleasure to know in my life.  A treasure, even when she’s been less than perfect, which was often, as it is with most of us.

Anyway, as I sat in her house this morning among stacks and boxes full of her things, I could almost feel her there with me.  Some argue that there’s no call for sadness now, she’s still alive, but I would argue that now is the perfect time for sadness. . .because the little old lady that sits alone on a hospital bed in the nursing home is not my Nana. . .Or at least not completely.  There are still pieces of her there, but the parts I knew are disappearing little by little.  In some ways, it’s worse than losing her to death.  At least death happens all at once, not over months and years of remembering and forgetting.  So I am very sad today.  One way I cope with sadness is to write.  A blog like this one or even a poem, or something like a poem.  That’s what I did today as I sat there with my eyes closed, drinking in the memories that drifted around me like so many fragments of the past.  Something about the combination of her scent (a mixture of moth balls, Estee Lauder body powder, and hand lotion) took me back to my childhood.  Call me sappy or overemotional, but here it is. . .

Hot summer day

Light cold breeze blowing all around me

Her scent surrounds me

I close my eyes and she’s whistling in the kitchen

Humming a tune as she moves around the room

The droning of the old window unit is white noise

Cartoon voices from the television chatter incomprehensibly in the background

I can taste the freshly peeled carrot she gave me after school

The faint light filters in through the lace curtains at the window

Sunbeams mixed with dust float lazily in the air

The sensation of being loved so completely invades my heart

Her essence is here, but her mind is gone

Her possessions are here. She is not.

I miss her.