Staring Down the Dirty Laundry

This entry was written yesterday. Somehow the evening slipped past me, must have been moving all that wet laundry hanging on the outside line, to drape it on furniture inside the house.

The country house showing is today. Quite frankly I can’t imagine anyone falling in love with a home in the country during the height of mosquito season, which is upon us. People who grew up in the area will know all about it, and if it is a local person viewing the house, then it will make no difference. But town folk have no practical experience living with mosquito season, and are usually quite surprised by what it entails in rural forested areas in Ontario.

An example of mosquito season, and the local response, comes to mind. Attila and I attend an annual pie social, held at the building where my Great Aunts attended a one room school, and eventually taught in that school. It is where my Mom attended school. The building is owned by an “historical society”, which is really just two families, neighbours, who knew my Granny and Grandpa all their lives. The little “historical society” holds a pie social every year, which we attend. When we arrive the families that live in the area are standing about in the yard, chatting in relaxed groups. As we exit the car, we are usually mobbed by mosquitoes. I make a beeline for the building. The local people don’t even notice the mosquitoes. I used to be like that. I am not like that any more. I have lived in towns and cities for too long now, and lost my natural tolerance for mosquitoes.

Tuesday, June 10, 2015

Time is working its magic, and I think I’ve waded through most of the pain now, at least for this little visit to the dark side of the moon. It comes, and it goes. Just in time too, as the sun decided to peek out from behind the clouds late this evening, after two days of constant rain.

I have been staring down the dirty laundry. Today I lost the battle.

Lets see, I arrived at the little house in the city on May 16th. That would be about three and half weeks ago. I haven’t been doing my laundry.

I haven’t handled my dread of the laundromat in a very mature way you see; I’ve been procrastinating. I’ve avoided the laundromat now for almost three and half weeks, and let me tell you, it was definitely something that was becoming a problem. I considered running up to Walmart to buy additional pairs undies and socks, seriously considered it, to my shame. But today I managed to ignore my feelings, load the two pillowcases full of dirty laundry into the trunk of the car, grab a book, and head down the road towards that temple of cleanliness. The experience is never as bad as the period of avoidance. You would think I would learn to get it over with, earlier rather than later, to lessen the “time of great dread.” But no, I left it until the situation was desperate.

It was still raining when I returned from laundromat with my two pillowcases full of clean, wet clothes. I had considered drying them at the laundromat, but as I sat there I understood that there was no possibility that I would do this. I sat waiting the full 25 minutes of the wash cycle, watching the countdown, anxious to leave through every one of those minutes. So I arrived home with wet laundry. Luckily we have a rope strung across the back porch, under the roof, where I can hang the laundry. I pinned it all up, and was gratified that the rain could not touch it. But it didn’t dry, the humidity was so high, with it raining hard and all.

Hours and hours later, the sun came out. I think it knew I needed it, and responded to my angst. Maybe not. The laundry is still out there, the night approaches, but there are still remnants of sunlight slanting through the tree tops. I may be draping the almost-dry laundry over the furniture for the night, or maybe, just maybe, it will dry before it gets dark.

Such excitement! It has been a big day for me, girding my loins and setting forth for the dreaded laundromat. If I am prudent, I might be able to stretch my clean laundry to last four whole weeks, before I have to go back.

The genealogy book is nearly ready to print a first draft. Every time I think I am ready, some new little issue pops up, holding up the works. This time it was the wrong family recorded as relatives, same names, wrong people. The information was originally provided by another researcher, many years ago, and back then I didn’t peruse it as carefully as I should have, thinking I would get back to it, which I have, today. The head of that family was born in Ireland, not Scotland, and that was the only discrepancy. It took all afternoon to sort it out. If I hadn’t decided to create the extra 62 charts I would not have caught the error. A printed copy will assist me in ferreting out such inconsistencies. There are sure to be some errors that are ultimately overlooked, and included in the book; my goal is to minimize those mistakes.

Attila says there is another house showing tomorrow. This realtor has done well by us, there have been more showings in the past three weeks than we had during both previous years the house was for sale, put together. I would recommend this fellow to anyone, he works hard, and he knows what he is doing. If the house doesn’t sell it won’t be for lack of trying. We keep an eye on the local market, and there is little activity in the real estate market at the moment, nothing has sold near our price point. That could change suddenly though, fingers crossed!

This is a doodle that taught me about resizing. I lost the high resolution for the image, and still do not know how that happened. It inspired me to download the software manual. This image reminds me of “The Princess and the Pea.”
2015June10 princesspea

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:00 PM EDT Tuesday 9 June 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.6 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 14.4°C
Dewpoint: 13.9°C
Humidity: 97%
Wind: S 12 km/h


“The human heart is like a ship on a stormy sea driven about by winds blowing from all four corners of heaven.”
Martin Luther (1483 – 1546)

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Bex Crowell

Ah -Laundromats. In England, specifically in Thirsk, N. Yorkshire, they had one called a Washeteria (not sure I spelled that right?) which cracked me up. Doing laundry when you’re in a “foreign” country is challenging as it always was for us. Even when we’d be lucky enough to hire a cottage that had “laundry facilities” – sometimes that would mean just the washing machine – sometimes it would mean a washer & a dryer, or one time it would be a washer that turned into a dryer with a flip of a button! Could never figure that one out! But it always always took a big chunk of our time away while doing the laundry. And England being England, it would be damp a lot of the time so we’d have our laundry draped all over the cottages sometimes… for days on end! I even think I resorted to buying some new underwear during one trip when doing laundry was more of a challenge than usual!


Whites and lights, due to our iron water, have to go to the “washeteria” or to someone else’s home if I don’t want them stained and ruined. Usually I choose the washeteria (much prefer this word, thank you, Bex) but wait a very long time to get enough laundry to make a load. Thus, rarely wearing anything light-coloured. My aversion is less to being there than to lugging bags from vehicle to building and back again.

TopsyTurvy (Teri)

I can understand your dislike of laundromats. I’ve never been a fan of them, either. If it wasn’t lugging bags of clothes, it was literally airing your dirty laundry in public, or your clean laundry – for that matter – as you folded things. Ugh!

I’ve seen and heard of the wash machine that converts to a dryer and have wondered if such things were available here. I *think* you couldn’t just import one, due to different electrical requirements?

Hope you get some better weather on the dark side of the moon, so you can enjoy it a bit more.

crochetlady or Lee Ann

What I like about washaterias is that after 3 hours everything is done-wash, dried and folded, and ready to put away, for the week. Doing laundry in a home washer and dryer takes so much longer and needs to be done almost daily to stay ahead of the game. I got over the public display a long time ago when I didn’t have a choice but to use public facilities. There is no privacy in the Army!

TopsyTurvy (Teri)

Maggie, that Scrubba is amazing! I bet it would be wonderful on a long trip or cruise where wash facilities are limited or non-existent! But, oh, that price!

Reenie Beanie

*girding you loins* That will sustain me with laughter for several days… or more.

Two Laundromat stories. Actually three.

One summer when I was home on break from college, my sister and I rented a dumpy place in the Hamptons (South Shore LI for the ritzy set. We could barely afford a Ritz cracker.) We held part time jobs. It was when the Hamptons was still somewhat rural – 1967 or so. There was a Mom & Pop joint with a laundromat, Deli, and gas pumps. I ran the Laundromat, which essentially meant I made change and sat on my ass reading. My sister’s job was more labor intensive in the deli portion and overseeing the pumps.

Um, I can’t remember the second story.

So here’s the third – one I’ve never ever told anyone. It was 1969. I was a newlywed in a small town in central Missouri. I was a social worker in an even smaller town. My husband was finishing his last year of university. (He’d missed a year for health reasons.)

We had a charming tiny apartment in an enormous gingerbread Victorian mansion. There were no laundry facilities so I had to go to the local laundromat. One Saturday a farmer in bib overalls was doing his laundry while I was there. I could tell he was a man of few words – most words probably reserved for coaxing the earth to provide a livelihood.

He had two young girls with him. Sweet with flaxen hair, ribbons. That’s all I recall about this trio except I invited my imagination into their lives.

I fanaticized of walking away from my current life and following them to their farm to live. I presumed the children were motherless. I would help rear them. Help coax the earth to provide sustenance.

Of note, nary one word was exchanged, yet I created a new life for myself.

Over the years I’ve wondered if my imagination was foretelling my future and warning of the unhappiness my marriage would become.

I know it’s odd, but I’ve every now and again wondered how the man fared – his daughters.


This is typical of me and perhaps all creative people. Nothing ever remains as seen. It’s exhilarating and exhausting and powerful to know that a tree is more than just a tree – and the potent potential of even the minutest minutiae.

I think I need to write a post. Thanks for letting me tarry here.