One day last spring was all about laundry until I woke up. Really late. The recent time change had messed up my life. I aimed at sleep, but missed the mark. When I asked a pharmacist about melatonin, he told me the brain already makes that. When I said, “I know it, but my brain is confused,” he nearly fell down laughing.
The melatonin hurt my stomach. The gift of sleep presented itself to me, those days, in three-hour shifts, with three hours between each shift.
Eventually everything catches up with everyone. The impossibility of waking at 7:30 to do all the laundry and arrive in town before 10:00 ruled my every action. Some of the laundry washed while some dried, when I left without my usual shower. Half-way to town, I remembered what I forgot: breakfast. Lunching, finally, at 2:00, left me weak.
Anyway, during that day, I experienced a refreshing visit with an old friend. She showed me her reproduction quilt. Some of the pieces are about a half-inch square. Of course, she hand-pieced it, over 2000 pieces. She lives alone in what she calls “this broken down house” and delights, as I do, in fabrics. She showed me how she quilts and how she locks her stitches. We discussed my curtains. I save this visit with her as a treat for when I need a return to reality.
Then it was on to the printer, on to the bank, on to the library, zooming as best I could without breaking any laws. Zooming to grab a short lunch, zooming to transfer laundry loads, zooming to fold and hang clothing, zooming to check chickens, zooming to make the bed (anytime before 4:30 p.m. counts), zooming to answer the phone, zooming to—does it matter?
Does it matter as much as a friend and her quilt?
My husband was out of white socks and hoped to play racquetball the next day. I paid close attention to folding his socks, stayed up late to get it done. I believe in making laundry happen for my people. It is my profession: I am an expert, and I believe a person can teach himself to enjoy any activity. I enjoy doing laundry. It calms me. I derive satisfaction from gazing at a long row of expertly-ironed, long-sleeved shirts and watching my husband leave in the morning, wearing a crisp, good-smelling shirt. It is a competition, although most women do not realize it, and secretly, I win.
Next morning, when I again awoke late, I remembered what I had forgotten: to place the folded socks where my husband could find them. They were still atop the file cabinet, where I had sleepily left them, and he was gone.
Okay, so you win, after all.