Category Archives: Homemaking

The drama of laundry

The drama of laundry

I am line-drying for the first time this season.

No wait, that’s not true, I put Isaac’s sheets out on the line one sunny, windy, barely-above freezing day in February, because his tween-age boy funk was just so strong I felt it needed all of mother’s nature’s angry winter wind to beat it out.  It was a bright, blue-skied, day and my hands are still cold from shaking out and putting the wet sheets on that line.  They didn’t dry all the way, but mostly, and they did smell amazing, and yes, we do think they froze a little out there and we had to toss them in the dryer a bit to put back on his bed.

But today, I am line-drying for real.  A whole load, and just because I’d rather use the line than the dryer.  It is in the low 50s and partly cloudy and much more humid than that February Day and I don’t know.  I’m apprehensive.  The ground below is so muddy, it’s a swampy mud pit, and I’m grateful I load our line from the second story deck and didn’t have to walk in that gross lawn.  But what if something falls? I worry, even though I have never lost an item of clothing off that line.

And they say it’s not going to rain today, but it’s been such a wet, sloggy, muddy, damp, end of March that I can’t quite believe it.  The existence of clouds in that sky makes me nervous.

Still, I was out on that deck putting my clothes out at 6:45am this morning, listening to the birds and watching the sunrise play off of Rainbow Lake in the distance, and that was really good.  Even if my clothes don’t dry and fall in the mud, it felt really good to be cautiously optimistic about the weather.

Now to get in the habit of putting a load in the washer at night, again…

To my husband

To my husband

Andrew,

I see you.

I see you get up earlier than you’d like to walk the dog, to make lunches for the boys, to wash-their-faces-brush-their-teeth-comb-their-hair in our one bathroom early enough so you can have a few moments in there to yourself before that bus alarm.

I see you commute further than most of your coworkers who don’t need to think about public schools with autism services.

I see you work late, 1 hour, 2 hour, 3 hours late, and still hustle home to try to make the bedtime ritual.  I don’t know when leaving at 5pm became “not working hard enough” and I hate it for you, but I see you play that game so well, controlling the optics of who sees you at work, doing damn fine work while you’re there, and still making our family a priority.

I see you leave for business trips by plane, by train, by carpooling with coworkers, and I know your introverted soul shrinks at all the social niceties and politics you must play on this trips, and I see you nevertheless do it well.  I see you take a deep breath and pack your suitcase and go back out, because it’s part of the job, and this job makes our life here possible.

I see that on Saturdays, the house is a little cleaner when I return from teaching than when I left.  I don’t see you cleaning since I’m not home, but I know our boys, so I know it’s you.

I see you set up the diffuser at night so I have one less obstacle between me and finally getting in bed (one more thing, I say, one more thing to do…)

I see that you are weary.  I see how the dark, cold, New England winters pull you down.  I see how you work so hard, give so much, and have so much less freedom to do fun things, new things, on a whim things than your peers.  And I see how in all of that, you never give up.  You get out of bed and keep going.

I see how you educate people about attachment parenting, about breastfeeding, about autism, about special education, about all these things you surely never thought you’d have to think about, but here you are standing up for it because it’s important to our family, and I see how fiercely you love and protect our family.

You asked me to take your last name when we married because you wanted us all, you, me, and our future children, to share a name.  To be a Team.  I saw that family in your eyes when you told me this, and I had no idea what our future held, but I wanted to do it with you.  That spark, that dream you had, I see you fight for it, slave for it, prioritize it, day after day.  It is harder than we ever imagined, and it is richer too, and it began with you.

I see you.  I love you.

Your,

Erika

Happy Hangover

Happy Hangover

So, yesterday was a Feast Day.  Feb 2nd is Candlemas, and the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple.  As a gal who loves her some candles, and loves the Nunc Dimittis*, it’s a good Feast Day for Erika.

Andrew, through a quirk of work, got home early.  I’d planned a candlelit dinner of blueberry and chocolate-chip pancakes already (because this holiday?  It was original a pagan holiday to Brigid in Ireland, the patroness of grain…and when Brigid became SAINT Brigid, good Christians of the Celtic persuasion winked at each other and continued to enjoy grain-y goodness for Brigid, I mean for Candlemas.  And the tradition of bringing a candle to the church to be blessed, and then lighting it in your home to ward off evil?  Yeah…pagans again.  I love these Feast days so much.)…woah, where am I?  Right, I’d planned the fun-pancakes-by-candlelight already, but I didn’t think it would be a full family dinner, so yay!

The out of the ordinary fun dinner with the family all together got Andrew and I in a festive mood, and we made Mudslides.  2 shots of vodka, 1 of Kahlua, 1 of milk.  Yum.

Then we had another round.  If you’re counting, we each had 6 shots of alcohol.  This is a bit more than our usual imbibing, and certainly unusual for a school night.  It was a fun night.

And this morning, to no one’s surprise including our own, was rough.  Hangover Hagans, that’s us.

And yet…the memory of last night still makes me smile.  The out of time family connection, the fun of the flickering candles and the over-sweet pancakes, the yummy drinks, and the silliness with Andrew that followed.  We Feasted, not just on food, but on how much we love each other.

So, I don’t adore the headache and such.  I really don’t adore wanting to eat nothing but fried eggs and hashbrowns on top of a pizza, and it being a Friday Fast day instead.  I’m eating these carrots, and my body’s like “NEED FAT TO SURVIVE HANGOVER WHAT IS THIS ROUGHAGE NONSENSE”.

But I’d do it all again.  I’m feeling really happy today.

 

*Nunc Dimittis is the Song of Simeon, which he sang when, after waiting for eons in the Temple to see the Messiah as Gold told him to do…Jesus was brought in by his parents to be presented.

“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy word.For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;To be a light to lighten the Gentiles and to be the glory of thy people Israel.”

This is one of the canticles for Evensong, and so I’ve sung these words to many different settings many times – and I love them.  Composers tend to really step up on “to be a LIGHT to lighten the Gentiles” – big swelling of emotions right there.