Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Laundry and Lassie

"We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy,

even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry."
E. B. White

My youngest was home for Easter weekend from college. It is nice
that he is only a few hours away and can drive home about every
three or four weeks, when he completely runs out of clean clothes!
So, every month or so, I wash every single piece of clothing he owns,
plus a few items belonging to his roommate, that are mixed in. He
always says, "Mom, you don't have to do my laundry for me!!" But I
tell him I like to. Besides, I do have a new state of the art washer and
dryer that I would have loved to have had, back when I had a
housefull! Unfortunately, those large appliances last just long enough
to raise a family, then finally bite the dust when they are all grown and
gone. We suffered from staggering sticker shock when our washer
died last year. Because they were so pricey, we purchased the
washer first and bought the matching dryer a few months later. They
were the odd couple; a buff husband and a frumpy middle aged wife,
standing side by side in my laundry cupboard. When, finally, I had both
sleek black models, they were so huge and modern they reminded me
of sporty new cars. My humble laundry area had become a small
garage! Most of my "motherly chores" are over now and I feel a twinge
of nostalgia which fuels me to grasp onto the few small things I can do
for my kids. It seems like just yesterday, that my little buddy was
helping me with the laundry on a regular basis, while his brother and
sister were at school. Afterwards, we would curl up on the couch
with some graham crackers and watch old Lassie episodes on TV.
Ah, those days are gone too soon!


  1. That's a lovely memory... I particularly love the picture of your little laundry helper with the green sneakers. So cute!

  2. Can you believe that little laundry guy is now 6'3" and 220 lbs? He'll always be my "little buddy" though...still so sweet. ;)

  3. I love the quote ... really perfect for me and the way that I've been feeling. Thanks ! Susan

    Maybe Ralph and Jake are hangin' out together - a Lab & a Retriever. Smile.

  4. I loved that! He's so cute! Love the washer and drier too. I am still at the odd couple stage with the new washer, waiting for the drier to die. :)

  5. Yes, yours is easier to hide tho...mine's right there in the kitchen, and now that the cupboard doors don't fit, they're really exposed!

  6. I think its a pretty crowded boat...I have an ancient washer, a brand that's no longer even manufactured, but a new dryer that thrills me, even by its interior lightbulb! Having spent years feeding quarters into an apartment washer/dryer, its one of the unexpected pleasures of home ownership---laundry at the touch of a button, no quarters required.

    As for the little bunnies, I know what you mean about the nostalgia of doing "mommy" things. The only time I get to baby my teen these days is when she is feeling under the weather. Then I can cosset her to my heart's content, fussing with special little dishes for her, and tenderly patting her brow, etc.

    Congratulations on the laundry "team"----many happy washings!

    P.S.---Does anyone else out there use 24-mule team Borax? I can't do a load without it.

  7. I just noticed the overalls on your little tyke! Gosh, how I miss the Osh Kosh years! What is it about overalls that make kids look so gosh-darn cute? My daughter had the most adorable corduroy pairs, adorned with flowers and other little patterns....and I even had a maternity pair (back when maternity overalls were in fashion)....funny, how something triggers your memory and then you go off on tangents.....But, overalls cannot be beaten for sheer comfort.

  8. Yes, I thought the same thing when I found that photo! All three of mine lived in Osh Kosh. My husband was cleaning out his tool bin last week and found the extra buckles we had for "Osh Kosh repair". We almost cried.

  9. **Sigh***....It's like when you come across a pair of baby shoes, or a favourite book or toy of theirs that has been put away for years and years. A lock of their baby hair or even their baby teeth!The rush of memories and emotions...

    But back to laundry...its *almost* hanging-weather, hurrah! Nothing like the fresh scent of bedsheets that have dried in the sun and crisp breezes...

    Also, I noticed that powdered Ivory Snow doesn't have the same baby scent that it used to have years ago.... I wonder if they've changed the formulation or the fragrance.

  10. I cry my eyes out every time I decorate the Christmas tree now...the sweet little handmade ornaments and especially my first born's little tweed mitten with his name label sewn in, I hang it on the tree and then sob. I am way too sentimental...or maybe just menopausal. ;)

  11. Sweet little mitten!

    A Christmas tree is like a lightning rod for cherished memetoes of the past. Years ago my daughter made an angel out of a wooden spoon and some fabric---it was a craft they did in elementary school---and it was placed in pride of place at the top of the tree every year. Then, this year, she declared it silly looking and insisted on buying a snazzy new star. I gave in, but regretted it. Next year, the wooden angel is going back to its old spot!

  12. I have appliance envy, Willow. Our old machines make a variety of bad noises and often seem as if they are about to fly out of the laundry room. But when the repairman comes, they are subdued and quiet. He pronounces them, "just fine."

  13. Well those sneeky old appliances! Sounds like they have a mind of their own! They need to cooperate! ;)


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)