Random Thoughts on Laundry, Gratitude and Hurricane Sandy

Oct 29 2012

I wasn’t going to write today but then I got to thinking about all of you East Coast friends watching the storm roll in, and, well, I just wanted to say “hi” for a minute and stand with you.

Here’s the thing about today and time: I might have joked about laundry in the past — about taking a break at the base camp of Mt. Laundry and my hope to summit before nightfall — but I’m currently on a many-days-long trek through the Himalayas of Laundry, and there’s no end in sight, much less time to write. (Psst. Send help.)

See, we spent the weekend thinking we might have scabies. For those of you who haven’t been formally introduced, scabies are parasitic mites that burrow under human skin and then hunker down and live there causing all sorts of infectious mayhem and allergic havoc. Sort of like a special, freaky event for the whole family just in time for Halloween.

Turns out, we don’t have scabies — woohoo! — and I might have to re-evaluate my late-night relationship with WebMD. Unfortunately, bug-bite panic ensued anyway (we don’t have scabies, but we could have, says my brain), and the only way to alleviate my emotional trauma it is to do all the extra laundry I’ve been avoiding for nigh on centuries.

So. I’m in the process of washing every pillow, every mattress cover, every sheet, every duvet, every blanket, every pillowcase, every stuffed animal and every throw pillow from our beds. Because over-reacting is one of my specialties. Also, six beds is a LOT of beds, friends. And the biggest time commitment of all is the grumbling and groaning I’m doing about it.

Which stops now.

Because really, Beth? Really really? You have access to medical care to treat your mildly irritated skin. You have five healthy children who each have a bed. You have a washer and a dryer to indulge your wash-everything obsession. And you have shelter, heat, food, running water and electricity on the day Hurricane Sandy is making crazy happen through the Atlantic and on the East Coast.

How about replacing the grumbling with gratitude, lady? Yes? Yes.

OK, then. I am so glad we had this chat.


In other news related to storms, my mama’s name is Sandy. My mom, as everyone will tell you, is all sugar with a side of honey. She’s the nicest, kindest, most gentle lady on the planet with maybe a tiny, secret side of sass to spice her up.

I take after my father. 😉

When I was in high school, my mama’s friends were bewildered that we ever squabbled. How? they thought. How could you ever argue with your sweet mom? they asked. Well, I had to work diligently at it — nose to the grind-down-my-mama stone — but I managed. And my mama endured and loved me through it ’cause that’s what mamas do.

You can see, then, why the idea of a Hurricane Sandy — or Frankenstorm Sandy — seems just completely incongruous to us. We’re watching the storm with stunned awe and disbelief, mostly because of its magnitude and the toll it’s already taken in Haiti and elsewhere … and partly because it doesn’t mesh with the Sandy we know and love.

Weird and weird.


For those of you who are — or are potentially — affected by the storm, our family sends love and prayers your way. We hope you’re safe. We hope you’re dry. We hope you’re warm. We hope you don’t have scabies… by which I mean we hope, at the end of all of this, that whatever bad thing you thought might happen didn’t actually happen, and that, in fact, you’ll have much for which to be grateful.

Love to you and yours,


P.S. If you’re on the East Coast waiting out the storm, please do leave a comment here or on Facebook and let us know where you are and how you’re doing. And if you’re elsewhere, please use this space to let our East Coast friends know they’re in our thoughts. Thanks, friends.