Sunday, July 13, 2008

One more reason Thor is amazing.

Dandelion Momma writes beautifully on summer happenings in her home and feelings that bring moments of relief in an often overwhelming life; one of which is the thought that perhaps someday she will be able to hang her laundry on a clothesline outside to dry and fluff in the warm summer sun. She makes it sound lovely.

One of my best friends hates to see the weather change to the point where she has to take her laundry indoors. She is a firm believer in the benefits of sun dried sheets and clothing that takes on the scent of the outdoors. She becomes slightly depressed during the long winter months of rain, or the threats thereof that chain her shirts, socks, and sweaters to the energy efficient dryer in the laundry room.

Me? I have issues.

For the first six and a half years and three children of our marriage Thor and I budgeted every penny trying to buy a house, feed little people and keep ends at least within a few feet of each other. Part of that budgeting was me lugging laundry and 1, then 2, then 3 children twenty minutes into town and doing laundry at the mat. I detested most every minute there as, at that time, it was the least expensive of the auto-mats in our hamlet, and being such, attracted those who could least afford the better machines and interiors. But I went dutifully. Thor was sacrificing (he had to live away from home for work, many times living in his car to save money rather than sleeping in a hotel), and this was my part. Many times the children were not allowed away from my sight lest an inebriated parent in the room engage them in a somewhat less than appropriate conversation.

After a while Thor saved enough and came home with a washer. It was small, the smallest one they made in the line he chose. It was a fabulous machine that lasted us well over 20 years in the long run. On average, with the kids and the size of the washer, I would do 3-4 loads a day over those 20 years. We hadn't yet afforded a dryer, so those loads were hung outside in the summer weather to dry. We had 1/2 acre of land, completely void of vegetation due to the high cost of water. The backyard was a vast flat piece of sandy dirt and gravel with foot high foxtail weeds in the spring until Thor could plow them down. But the line was well above the danger of the weeds and dirt and with the heat of the day, even the heaviest pair of denim jeans would be dry in a matter of minutes. In the winter laundry hung like Salvador Dali's "Persistence of Memory" all over the house furniture. When it finally dried it would come off the particular piece of furniture cast in its' shape, crispy and often oddly shaped even after putting it on. If I didn't take care to properly place the clothes once dried you could have a permanent "bubble" shape in an arm sleeve or the small of your back, or worse.

Along with saving for dryers we needed to save for other items. As a young bride and groom we received zero towels when we married. Z. RO. We got 5 hand mixers, 10 salad bowls, 6 chip and dip sets and 2 blenders, but no towels (or sheet sets for that matter). Thor's mother generously gave us her older towels and sheets which we gratefully took once we saw the price of new ones. It took me about six and a half years to finally save enough to buy brand new thick lovely towels!

I brought them home and cut the tags off of them, I put them in the washer and anticipated their thick fluffy loops drying us all later that night. I hung them out on the line and after 20 minutes or so went out to gather our new treasures! Instead I walked out to find the line post had broke at the base and fell to the ground. The line had twisted over and over in the wind and the towels had flopped and mopped up thousands of foxtails into the terrycloth. I unclipped each towel and wash cloth and cried crocodile tears as I surveyed the damage. Not one was saved, they all were covered so thick with the foxtails there was no hope of pulling them out without destroying the terry loops. I blew. After waiting almost seven years it was all I could take. The towels were gone. Worse, the money was gone with them.

With all the kids down for their naps I went to the garage. I found the hedge clippers and I went to work. I went to the downed line and chopped it into foot lengths of rope confetti, crying and yelling at the ground for all I was worth. I had lost my new beautiful longed-for and months of saved for towels and I was hysterical. I exhausted my emotion in that line and then picked up the destruction and put it all in the trash.

I walked into the house, took a shower and waited. Thor came home two days later and I showed off the towels and my handiwork. If we went into hock or hell, I was Scarlett O'Hara and as God as my Witness I would never use an outdoor clothes line again! Thor gave me the "Frankly my dear..." look, but before he could begin the look on my face told him not to say a word.

Poor Thor took all my wrath and then some. It was not his fault but I didn't know who else to blame and I needed to spend that rage. It took two more weeks but, Thor brought home a small dryer and kept me from chopping up anything else. It's been 30 some years now and I tell ya, there are just some things a wife needs; and for me, it was a washer and a dryer!

So I put it to you, is there any silly thing that pushed you over the edge of reason, for which your better half has saved you by providing a solution?

add to sk*rt


chronicler said...

Not my better half, but another loved one. You see, I have a tendency to evaluate things, events especially, and believe I can be superwoman. Not task too large, no detail too small. I once took a catering gig, and included the wedding cake in the middle of the summer.

About an hour before the event was to begin, I went out and tried to put the finishing touches on the cake. I was so scattered and nervous that I couldn't hold my hands still to pipe the needed borders and apply the Monogram to the side of the cake. In fact, I broker said monogram and knew my world would collapse in a puddle of mud in front of 600n strangers who would remember me until they died.

Enter you s'mee. You calmly took over the cake. You told me to go back to the kitchen and all would be well. I am not sure you will ever know how grateful I was at the time and how this story stays in the forefront of my list of good deed doers.

You saved the day and my sanity.

S'mee said...

perhaps, but you didn't go back into the kitchen, grab a pair of tongs and begin to take out anything that resembled that cake! I am SOOOO glad we didn't have a neighbor in site back then! (although it would have been fairly entertaining t watch the crazy lady with the hedge clippers!)

Not to continue the love fest, but hey, you have rescued me many times, turn about is just fair play! Thanks sis, you're the best!

LeaAnne said...

First..LOVE this post! I cried tears of understood Laughter.

Weeks ago we had asked a new to the *ward* cute family for dinner. Wanting to make the very best show I could, I spent days looking at wonderful meals in books and online. When the big day came, it was HOT! I did not feel great (all the worry & heat) and our paycheck had not yet come:( I could not go and get what I had planed. SO, I made TACO's & at least I had everything to make my Homemade Salsa that I am proud of! Our little ones were eating the Salsa and playing on the computer while we got the rest of the house and things looking their "best". Moments before our new friend were to arrive I heard a word come out of our 4 year olds mouth that I have NEVER heard in our home. Come to find out that the 7 year old had watched a Thomas the Tank video on Youtube that was NOT the real Thomas thing! He had heard it told it to the little girls and then made up a song that they all loved
WELL, at not my finest moment I looked at them and had a melt down! I did what I had sworn never to do as a MOM..Washed 7 & 4's Mouths out with soap! This did not have the effect I was hoping for! Can you guess what happened..They both barfed! At the same moment our 2 year old took of her(now)poopy diaper and *painted*!!! In steps my Dear hubby who cleaned all of our loveies and all the mess that had been made. All with me crying and cooking! He saved me because our guest's arrived about 5 minutes later! We were able to have a great night and.. The kids forgave me. :)

Alison Wonderland said...

I think Sean keeps me from killing the kids at least once a week.

flip flop mama said...

This was a hilarious post! Thanks for making my day!

S'mee said...

Oh Leaane! Hilarious! I'm so sorry, but what a day!
Alison, oy! I here ya! Thor would come home after being gone for a week or two and just give me a twenty and ask to not see me for 4 hours!
FlipFlop, hey, anytime!

maren said...

This post was great. What a story. I have my definite limits. When I get stressed beyond the breaking point, my family knows to keep their distance. Actually, I haven't had one of those type of meltdowns in years (thank goodness). I used to try to be superwoman and do everything (and a perfectionist to boot). Jeff will tell you how much being sick has mellowed me out. I don't have much control over things and I finally KNOW it.

S'mee said...

Maren -boy do I hear you! Meltdown indeed! Thanks, it's good to know I'm not the only nutjob on the planet!