The Questions

I hope everyone had a very happy Thanksgiving!!

Of course, Elder and Younger were home for the week, so I found myself asking all kinds of interesting questions —

How did you fit all those clothes and your sheets into one small basket?

Why can’t you guys hook your two game systems into different televisions instead of arguing over one?

Are we really having this argument . . . in my bedroom . . . at midnight?

What if I hadn’t noticed the Cheetos that were mixed in with your clothes and washed them?

Why is my sofa turned backwards and shoved against the door?

How many pairs of socks do you think you have lost beneath your sink?

How is asking you for a bagel insulting?

Do you not see the laundry basket? Is that the problem?

How old are the two of you?

Why would you throw the cat onto the dog?

Did you know you can drink from the same glass more than once?

Twenty and seventeen? And you’re still arguing over video games?

How am I supposed to fit all these clothes and sheets back into one small basket?

Why is one week so short?

And now, alone in my silent house, I only have one question —

How long until Christmas?







Happy Washing Machines

I hate laundry.

Nothing good comes from dirty clothes.

Last year, we had to buy a new washing machine. I soon discovered the crazy appliance trills an upbeat tune at the end of each cycle.


One day, I was walking past my husband when I heard the tinkling notes drifting from the laundry room. Muttering to myself, I stomped past him, attempting to ignore the newly residential mechanical maniac.

“What?” my husband asked, automatically.

I just glared at him.

Confused, he shrugged. “I’m sorry. I didn’t hear what you said.”

A little embarrassed at being caught in my spite, I grudgingly repeated, “No one likes a happy washing machine.”

So, now, not only do I have to endure the trilling notes of success from a smug appliance, I also have to hear my husband chant, “Happy washing machine. Happy washing machine.”

At the end of every…single…cycle.

Nothing good comes from dirty laundry.

Or a supposedly witty husband.

Why I Laugh

Today, I thought I would share an old story from 2002. Elder would have been not quite six years old. And I would say my husband and I were a lot younger, too, but we still argue like kids, so I don’t know that the statement has a valid point. Anyway, here you go…

This morning, my husband had trouble locating a pair of slacks. Not finding any in the closet, he trudged into the laundry room. Not finding any in the laundry room, he trudged back into the living room.

Spying him, understanding by his state of partial dress his predicament, I told him, “There should be some in the closet.”

“I looked,” he grumbled.

So, I followed him. And we found some. Smug as only a woman can be, I strutted back into the living room.

“You didn’t follow my system,” he complained, trailing after me, blaming me for his own mistakes like only a man can do.

“If you don’t like the way I put your clothes in your closet, you can put them there yourself,” I retorted.

“I do. And when I do, I have a system.”

“Well, if you did put your clothes in your closet, then you wouldn’t have to worry about me messing up your system. And I’ll worry about your system when you can tell me where I keep my socks.”

“But here’s my system -”

“I don’t care about your system -”

“Mom,” Elder interrupted. “Dad has two sisters.”

And that is why we don’t fight in front of the boys.

Not because of any high moral or psychological reason. But because we never finish without laughing.

We still finish, of course.

Just not without laughing.

The Giver of Joy

Today, I called Younger with a chore for him to complete on his first full day free of school.


Although he’s helped with the chore occasionally, he’s not at all adept, especially since we recently bought a new washing machine. So, he placed me on speaker phone while I talked him through all the necessary maneuverings.

First, I had him move the sheets in the washing machine to the dryer, reminding him to untwist the inevitable knots. He faithfully followed my instructions.

Then I had him clean the lint from the vent.

“Wow,” he murmured, his voice a little patchy over the cell phone connection. “I pulled it off all in one piece. Now, that’s something. I’m proud of myself.”

You know, after a couple decades and several tons of laundry, I have lost the pure, unadulterated delight of cleaning a dryer vent. My heart was touched by his innocent pleasure in such a routine act.

So touched in fact that I think I will bless him with the opportunity for such joy every chance I get this summer.