Laundry Life


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.

The Forever Sky

The Forever Sky

I don’t know why I’m so overcome with gratefulness today. I’m certainly not going to complain.

There are just some days when I see the art and the beauty and the redemption in everything that meets my eyes and ears. These days are rare and under constant threats of endangerment.

How do I make days like these happen more often?

I can’t process things with my hands and feet in the front yard dirt like I normally do. The typical Florida weather has been replaced with some type of cold that is rare to November, especially in these parts. But I don’t care. Today I’m connecting with something else; the forever sky.

There’s something about the sun that is different in the cold, fall Florida sky. It shines brighter. The shadows in everything are muted, and it’s as if the great photographer over exposes the scenery, making objects crisp.

Oh, but the yellows and browns in the leaves that lay in abundance on my almost-dead grass. The colors are saturated. Greens are left in waiting as these colors run deep all over the street.

Deepening me.

Then I look up into the forever sky, and I try to fathom my God who dwells up there, somewhere and everywhere in the Forever. And in that Forever, He is able to look down, past the galaxies and black holes and see little me.

And not only does he sees me, but his eyes find me with fondness. With love. With pleasure.

I don’t understand it. But, I am grateful.

Overcast clouds

Overcast Clouds // JATWFear is like the overcast clouds, standing right in between sunshine and storm; joy and suffering. It’s like the holding of a breath, waiting for the rain to fall down in a rush. The temperature drops, and the wind begins to swirl around you. The hair stands up on your arms as you await for that first drop to land on your face.

Overcast clouds tell you to stay inside; it MIGHT storm. You wouldn’t want to take the chance and get wet, would you? You don’t need to breath in the fresh air. Stay. Inside.

What it doesn’t want you to rationalize is that whether or not it storms, you’re free to go outside as you please. If it doesn’t rain and the clouds dry up, you have the gleaming sun to dance across your skin. If the skies do choose to open up its floodgates, then… well, you’ll likely get wet. But getting rained on is rarely as terrible as we anticipate it to be.

Sure, you might get soaked. There’s a chance you’ll find yourself cold and frustrated. It might even cause a fever, forcing you to go back inside and rest.

Flower buds need the touches of sunlight AND water to bloom.

Embrace the sunshine.

Embrace the rain.

Sometimes, we get to experience these beautiful weather reactions called sun showers. They are my favorite. Yes, it’s raining, but the sun is also high and bright and reminding me that it’s still there. It’s in these showers that I reminisce on what it’s like to feel deep joy in the midst of suffering. It’s possible, I promise.

But if you find yourself listening to those overcast clouds, that’s okay. It’s a normal reaction. Acknowledge the clouds, and open up the front door anyway. Put one foot in front of the other, and plant your feet in the dirt you were made from. Close your eyes, and listen to the swirls of the wind. Smell the sweetness in the air as the temperature begins to cool. Slowly reach your hands out in front of you and whisper…

Here you go, Father. I hand this over, take the fear. Whether the sun shines or the rain falls… this life is worth the living, and from my lips your name shall be praised.