Things Keep Falling Apart


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My poor husband has an extensive honey-do list. I do try to wait for the most opportune time to, “Honey? Can you? Do you? Think you? Could….?” Things just keep falling apart. <shoulders down> <get that chin up>

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We usually like to give things a good week or so to give them time to settle into a state of brokenness and to proclaim their changed status from functional to “are-you-ready-take-a crash-course-to-figure-out-how-I-work?” At that point we like to seriously consider if it is something we really need and should therefore fix. The absolute last resort is to replace. A microwave and toaster did not meet that last requirement.

Generally, a week is enough time for true brokenness to become established. Though some things tend to fluctuate. If you’re an optimist, like we are, you will give things ample chances to just fix themselves. I think it’s a bureaucratic thing.  The “doey” item is forwarded from department to department.  And only once its status is made “officially broken,” it is added to our list.

This list of ours is a sort of floating, jumping thing that travels willy-nilly around our house. I am not sure if everyone has one like this? It just came along with our marriage. Anyways, some tasks are able to catch the wispy in a tizzy thing as it travels haphazardly around the house. For instance, remembering to get coffee. Coffee almost always manages to get on the list when it’s almost gone. Other tasks can just fall flat on their face never to be heard of again. Like, I’ll tell the list, “Okay, I need to call the doctor about a toothache.” And then the whole day will go by only to be reminded to call the dentist when they are closed! This can go on a long time despite my discomfort.

It can be difficult and slippery to hitch a spot on the Do This Thing Express. Though sometimes tasks adhere really well and then there is no end to it staying aboard. This is especially true if it’s riding coach. They do tend to get really uppity when that happens. Nonetheless, the list seems to work well enough. Why, it helped us get where we are today.

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The list has glitches, quirks, and a temper, but overall its intentions are good. Sometimes it pretends to just have a few helpful suggestions only to turn on you the next minute and issue some arrogant decree with deadlines, added expenses, and a new slew of broken things to fix. But some days it follows you around to the hardware store and grocery store and throws in some pointers in a nice and polite fashion.

We prefer to hold off just a tad from its direct orders, so the list doesn’t think it has total domination over our jollity, frolicky, “Here we go round the mulberry bush,” lives. In rebellion, the list will go all anarchist on us and lists things upside down so we remember to purchase ice cream and forget toilet paper. Not very funny but we laugh along.

Sometimes the house likes to place little jokes on the list when it gets snippy and will fix things all by itself. We seriously have had this happen more than you’d think. We do a lot of praying when things break too, way before forking any cash over and taking orders from ruley lists!


Today, that prodding list made me feel like pulling my hair out. Isn’t that a strange sensation to feel. Probably the list put hair pulling on there for fun. It was just the clothes dryer and nothing life threatening you mean ta doey.

I do like our dryer machine. It is a fancy front loader and it matches our washing machine and that makes me feel cool. I have been hanging our laundry outside for at least a month now while my husband tries new things to poke at it to make it work. We are usually waiting for some forlorn piece to come from China, or some tool that got lost in the tumultuous outpouring that is our laundry. It just keeps being broken and the clothes don’t mind at all. They just keep marching in.

But we don’t give up. We never give up! We are a sorry case for perseverance. We just work around it until it works again, and then we feel so happy it works again. This really is a fun thing. I suggest trying it with hot water. Try one month without hot water in the winter then take a hot bath. Amazing! And dishes, wow! Dishes are great!

For now we have sunshine and and a four row clothes line. And, I don’t want to, but I will, hang lines all over the house come winter. But, to be honest, the hanging laundry thing isn’t going so well. I get the clothes washed and then I send out the girls to hang them. They do pretty good. Pretty good, not complaining. Then when I call them dry (it’s a laundry game I made up), they take them off and put up some more. Sometimes I call it dry the next day. Sometimes I forget I am playing a laundry game. It’s a pretty simple and forgiving game. But sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night to thunder and rain, and sigh. Sometimes it rains for days, and sigh. There is nothing to do but let them dry out there and let the dirty ones ruminate. I guess I lost that time. We had a huge oak tree fall over in a storm this summer, but those trusty clothespins kept our cloth diapers a hanging safely on the line. I got extra points for that one.

I do also wonder what the neighbors think of our laundry game.

And, sigh.

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I am kind of concerned how our clothes will be once the dryer is fixed. This method of washing and drying is hard on clothes. As I was folding clothes today, I noticed my eighteen year old son’s jeans were akin to sandpaper. I’d say, 220 grit. And sometimes the clothes are really not that dry when the girls take them down. I guess I called it too early. Little confession here, it takes me about a week to get to folding clothes and by that time smells can develop. Then it’s back to the dark abyss you stinky shirt. We keep the lights off during this time in our laundry room for dramatic affect. Okay, fine, it’s broken too.

It’s probably best not to wash things unless they are super dirty at this point. I have thrown the cloth on cloth diapering, and that’s been pretty nice. I consider it my mom vacation. If you want to try this, you just think I’m on vacation. Maybe say it three times, then get some disposable diapers and paper plates. It’s been a nice vacation from cloth diapers and from dishes. And a nice vacation from laundry, and a vacation from laundry….wait there is no such thing as a vacation from laundry in my life.

Those monstrous loathsome loads have begun to rear their natural and synthetic fibrous heads. Imagine how haggard my husband will look in his hot sauce graphic tees and sunken bottom pants. How our small children will be shirtless and sockless. How we will all wear winter clothes in summertime and it will always be winter. Then the nauseating pit will send forth its drake and henchmen for me whilst beating a horrid, putrid drum with an accompaniment of chant in cresendo:

“I don’t have any clothes.”

“Where’s a towel?”

“I need underwear.”

“I smell.”

“You smell.”

I will change all their clothing to sandpaper. Their towels, an exfoliation rub from a fine spa. Their shirts will smell of morning dew and their sheets of summer thunderstorms.

Go to the laundromat, you say? Never!


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4 thoughts on “Things Keep Falling Apart”

  1. I Loved reading this Erika. I have been without a dryer for the past 3 years, and love hanging them out, (although I have the laundry for only 2 of us, so it’s not a fair comparison), but I love the way they smell and the sandpaper feel as you described. A huge bonus for me is that the clothes drying indoors during the winter (on a line strung across the upstairs bedroom) provides well needed humidity in a house that is heated by wood. We recently discovered that our dryer just needed a wire repaired, so even tho I am able to machine dry the laundry, I still prefer to hang them on a line.
    You are a wonderful writer Erika!

    1. Good thinking, Mary. We also heat with wood but I never considered the humidity increase with clothes drying. We often set a clothes drying rack a few feet away from our wood furnace for cloth diapers and wet winter items.I always get excited to hang all of our clothes outside for the summer but chores start adding up too fast and it gets cut fast, except for large things like blankets and sheets. Now if I really minimized our wardrobes to just a few things, I think I could pull it off. Hmmm…

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