Routine, Blessed Routine

I washed and dried my first load of laundry in our NC house last week. Ah. That felt good. There is something to be said for having a routine and returning to it after being "at loose ends" for almost 6 months.

Our washer and dryer went on the moving van to storage in mid-December, and I wasn't really certain that the 12-year-old pair would want to come out of hibernation...but, so far, so good. I had a heart-to-heart with the Machines, assuring them that they were valued members of the household with many years of services ahead and that much was expected of them. What? You don't chat with your appliances?

In the photo to the right, maybe you can see the Laundry scrub-board up on the shelf, top left corner? It says "Laundry 25 cents a load, 24 hrs." I bought it because it reminds me of my Daddy, who owned a laundromat for years in Henning. He always referred to it as the Wishy Washy, and he loved nothing better than to take apart and repair any and all of the commercial washers and dryers that broke down (which was quite frequently, considering the amount of use and abuse they endured). Brother J and I always got our allowances in quarters. A roll of them. $10...make it last. Of course, you could buy a Coke for a nickel, 7 cents for the King-size (which was 10 ounces instead of 6 1/2)...but, I digress.

Anyway, our own washer and dryer at home guessed it...retreads from the Laundromat. Complete with the slots for the coins. He had put the key in the box lock and left it there, so we re-used the same quarters, over and over...but, still, you had to insert quarters in the slots and push the slide to get the machines to work. We thought this was perfectly normal.

When, on a visit from California, my Aunt Polly (Daddy's sister) asked to do a load of laundry, he forgot to tell her just to open the box to get the coins out. Oops. She went to Uncle Wendell to get some quarters, saying "did you know that Sidney makes Edith pay to wash clothes?!"

Other things are moving toward normal around here, too. Mr. T tilled up three long rows in the back yard for our '09 garden. Already it's bigger than any garden we had in O'Fallon! I'd saved lots of marigold and zinnia seeds from our garden in MO, and I mixed them with some sunflower seeds, some sand, and some potting soil; then I sowed the mixture in Row #1 while Mr. T followed with the rake to cover with garden soil. For Rows 2 and 3, I headed back to the Farmer's Market to get 10 tomato plants (Roma, Celebrity, German Johnson) and 10 pepper plants (California Wonder, cayenne, and sweet banana); as you see in the photo (left), Mr. T was able to get all of those in the ground last night before the (next) big rains came in the early morning hours. Of course, the ginormous crows and the squirrels have been having a hey-day out there: whoopee, looks like this place is Under New Management!

Speaking of the squirrels...I counted 10 of them at the bird feeders last Thursday. T-E-N. I can't wait until the Drool Gang arrives to give chase. I don't mind feeding them (I even buy "Squirrel Food"), but I do mind when they clean out the feeders and don't allow the Cardinals, chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers, finches, etc., to eat. Case in point (photo to right): the feeder is cock-eyed from the weight of several "flying Wallenda" motions by the squirrel to jump from the trees to the feeder...and look: the feeder appears to have grown a tail!

Ah...household chores, gardening, and goofy critters. Life is almost back to normal.


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