Family

Laundry Life

Laundry

Last week my friend Melissa shared a meme on Facebook that said, “I don’t mean to brag, but I’m pretty mediocre at housekeeping.” As I read it, I pictured Melissa saying it and it made me laugh. But I also found it funny, BECAUSE IT’S TRUE (of me, not Melissa). I always think that I’m sufficient at cleaning and organizing until I go into a house that sparkles and shines, and then I’m soberly reminded that I’ve had the cleaning tendencies of a toddler. I can get it together enough when I know people are coming over, shoving things in places, but otherwise, I’ve not had the best housekeeping rep. But can I be honest? I don’t really care. Like, I just have never been that person to take their issues out on dirt and dishes and laundry; I’d rather eat cake and color in one of Abe’s coloring books.

However, I’ve noticed a slow incline in my housekeeping skills since we’ve bought our own house. The desire to take care of this place because it belongs to us is a real thing, and I don’t hate it. I even had a serious cleaning product high the other day when I scored a bunch of swiffer products on clearance. WHO AM I?

Has anyone else noticed the constant battle with laundry? Before we moved into this house, I was sooooooooo bad at getting laundry washed, dried, folded and put away in a timely and efficient manner. The only thing I was really good at when it came to laundry was getting it in the washing machine. I loved doing that part! But remembering to then move it to the dryer… well, I’d say 3 out of 5 loads had to be washed twice. I know, I know- big waste of detergent. Don’t judge me.

IF a load managed to make it to the dryer wet and smelling good, they’d get dried… and then they’d sit there for about a week. It was rare for a load of laundry to get moved to a laundry basket. If we needed underwear, we’d just go digging through the dryer to find a crinkled up pair. And if, by rare chance the dried load made it to a basket AND get folded…. well, it would all go back into the basket and then sit in there until pretty much every piece of clothing was eventually used.

And let’s not even talk about my clothing mountains.

So, I’d like to tell you that it’s gotten better because I simply grew up a little bit when we moved in, but I’d be lying. When we were moving in all of our stuff back in January, we discovered that our dryer would not fit through any of the doors of our house. At first, I kinda freaked out about it. HOW COULD WE POSSIBLE LIVE OUR LIVES WITHOUT A DRYER? HOW WOULD WE CARRY ON AS HUMANS?? WHYYYYYYYY?????

After my very dramatic, first-world fist shaking to the skies, I got it together and tried to figure out a solution, and then remembered: people used to hang up clothes before they had dryers. When I was little, my grandma didn’t have a dryer, and she hung up all of the clothes and linens on a line she had in the back yard. Eureka!

But then I thought, “how, uhh, does one build a clothing line?” My friend Melissa, the one who thinks she’s mediocre at housekeeping, has this fancy contraption in the back of her yard that is basically a modern clothing line. I asked her where she got it, and I found myself at Home Depot picking up the contraption for $30. A little cement at the bottom to keep it sturdy, and there we had it: an old fashioned dryer.

Laundry Contraption

I never thought I’d say this, but I love that thing so much. I mean, not like I love people. But I REALLY dig it. It has changed my whole laundry life. I don’t know how it’s revolutionized everything I’ve ever done with laundry, but I think it has helped me enjoy the mundane chore. I wash smaller loads, and I’ve only ever forgotten 2 loads in the washer since January. Hanging clothes and linens up is strangely satisfying, and I don’t really have a choice when it comes to leaving them outside; we live in Florida. It rains almost every day, so as soon as they are dry, I gather the stuff up, fold it on the spot and put it away. There’ve been a handful of times I’ve hung up a load and then an afternoon storm blows through before they’re dry, but all that means is an extra rinse. We’ve noticed that our clothes are lasting a lot longer, and we enjoy the sun-kissed smell mixed with the detergent. Every now and then a load sits in a laundry basket for a day or two, but I have completely done away with my terrible clothing mountain habit, so I like to get our clean clothes put away as soon as possible. We have a small drying rack that sits in our laundry room for underwear and socks to dry, because I don’t really feel like showing our neighborhood my panties. That’s weird.

Little by little, I feel like I’m growing up. Being an adult is hard, so I’m thankful that I’ve been able to get a grip on something that makes our lives a little less noisy.

Laundry: check.

What’s next? Maybe dusting. Nah, who am I kidding, I’ll never care about dusting.

Flying Abe // JATW

Fly, My Son.

Flying Abe // JATWFly, my son. Fly as high as you can into those soft blankets.

Today, you are filled with joy. Waking up isn’t hard for you.

If anything, sleep is a hindrance to your precious, wild soul.

There’s so much to learn, and I see it happening on your face.

Both good and bad, scary and incredible, you will learn it all.

In time, my little love. In slow and gentle time.

It’s hard not to protect you from the world. “Why?” You ask.

Because I’ve seen the world. I’ve seen it’s monsters.

And yes, there is so much beauty to celebrate, but the monsters…

They do more than go bump in the night.

And sometimes, the beauty seems lost.

One day you will be a man, we will have taught you how to fight.

To slay the monsters, like you do now, with your costumes and toy swords.

But one day, it won’t be a game.

“Why don’t you want me to grow up, mommy?” You ask.

Because I’m selfish. And I’m scared.

And somehow I love you at the same time.

Today, though.

Today, let’s play.

Let’s pretend you can soar o’er the roof tops like Peter Pan.

Today, you will take pictures.

And we will see the world from your perspective.

You will dance in the living room, and watch cartoons.

Keep flying, Abe. Fly as high as you can.

Today, you are filled with joy.

Flashback Friday: Bad Day

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Ya’ll… I KNOW you remember this song. I’m sure some of you hate it as much as some of you love it and feel all 2005 when you hear it.

I have a necessary relationship with “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter.

2005-2006 was pretty rough for this chick. While 2005 was the year I graduated high school (which to this day was one of the most relieving and liberating days of my life), I also went through some rough transitions. Earlier in that year I was broken up with, which just SUCKED SO BAD at the time. It was the worst! And thinking about it now, I feel silly even bringing it up. But at the time, it was so devastating to me. (You can read all about it in my LiveJournal…. if you can find it).

So “Bad Day” along with Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You’ve Been Gone” got me through most of that. Oh, and Jesus… I guess. Or maybe it’s better put that Jesus allowed those songs to keep me going, since I really wasn’t going to surrender anything to him, even though I claimed that I was a Christian.

I also did a semester at FIU, which I was not excited about at all. So, 2005 was weird, but kind of normal life. Then 2006 happened. I can look back at 2006 and pinpoint what may have been the beginning of the #RealLife Sanctification process.

My family started falling apart at the seams. It was one of those things I think I always knew was going to happen, and it was like a waiting game to see when the shit would finally hit the fan.

It hit, and the fan flung suffering all over us.

An argument turned into chaos on the front yard which pushed me to slam pictures on the terrazzo tile inside because I couldn’t contain my sorrow  and rage anymore. My sister disappearing into the dark night as my brother cried in the garage while begging me not to go stay at Jessica’s house.

(It is really hard for me to share those last two sentences, because it forces me to relive them. I’m still forgiving myself for leaving my little brother in that hell). 

The rest of that year is still one of the most painful years I’ve ever known (although the past 6 months are really trying to top that). The chaos only kept on coming, to the point where my mom and I never knew if everyone was going to be alive by the next day. People at church treated me and my sister like outsiders. My life was literally falling apart and all I got was a lot of religious platitudes.

(Disclaimer: if we went to church together during this time, please don’t hear that as a condemnation on you or our Church. I was just as guilty of doing to others what ended up happening a little bit to me, so there is no judgement coming from me. We’re all sinners in need of grace). 

For the sake of everyone’s dignity, I won’t share much more details of that year. But this song… this song stuck with me. Back when Motorola flip phones were cool, “Bad Day” was my ringtone for everyone. I just wanted to hear it anytime, all the time.

One of the only redeeming moments of 2006 was when I had to spend the day in Downtown Miami to 1) go to court over a parking ticket and 2) visit my dad in a psychiatric ward. So pretty much the two worst things ever. After court, I had time to kill, so I took the Metro Rail to Dadeland mall, and let someone put makeup on me in Macy’s. I don’t even know why I did that, but it made me feel better. I got back on the Metro Rail to go to the hospital, and my phone kept ringing…

Cause you had a bad day
You’re taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don’t know
You tell me don’t lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
The camera don’t lie
You’re coming back down and you really don’t mind
You had a bad day
You had a bad day

I didn’t answer it. I wanted to keep hearing the song. In that moment, listening to “Bad Day” on the Metro Rail with my face fresh with makeup and strangers all around me, I felt like I was going to make it to 2007. I even started giggling, and said, “how bout you’ve had a bad year,” and giggled some more.

So, it’s 2014, and I’m still alive!

Maybe one day, ya’ll can convince me to talk about my closet ZAO obsession in 10th grade.

What songs have helped carry you through life?