“My wife is always trying to get rid of me. The other day she told me to put the garbage out. I said to her I already did. She told me to go and keep an eye on it.”

This morning I was awake far earlier than usual, at 6:30. I went on the deck and filled the bird feeders then stayed there to read my papers and drink my coffee. I find early mornings have the most glorious smells and sounds. The air is crisp and clean and scented with flowers and newly mowed grass. Birds sing and I can hear the flapping of their wings as they fly in and out of the feeders. The coffee this morning was hot and strong. I had a second cup then I left to meet my friend for our Monday morning breakfast.

I don’t remember watching my mother clean the house. During the school year she did it while we were gone. During the summers we were never around the house to watch her. Only my two little sisters were and they were mostly in the backyard, not yet being old enough to wander. I’d leave for school, and when I got home, my bed was made. I’d put my clothes in the hamper and they’d reappear cleaned and folded. It was a bit like the elves and the shoemaker. The dish strainer usually had clean dishes sitting in it to dry. We were to rinse any glasses or dishes we used and leave them in the sink. My father went crazy if we didn’t rinse out our glasses. He’d yell if he found a dirty glass on the counter. He called it the height of laziness. I thought he was underestimating how lazy we could get, but I knew better than to mention it. No one ever owned up to the dirty glass. That would have been foolish.

Except for my brother we never had any chores growing up. His was to empty the kitchen basket into the outside barrel. Trash was traditionally a male chore. Once in a while my mother would ask me to empty the garbage. She had a triangular plastic garbage holder in the corner of her sink. I’d take it outside touching as little of it as possible, use my foot to open the metal cover of the in-ground garbage bin then I’d dump the garbage and bang the container on the corner of the bin to make sure it was empty. The garbage always had maggots. I’d watch them for a while. Garbage grossed me out but maggots never did. I never thought that strange. Maggots were interesting while garbage just plain smelled bad.

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6 Comments on ““My wife is always trying to get rid of me. The other day she told me to put the garbage out. I said to her I already did. She told me to go and keep an eye on it.””

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I remember “helping” my mother do the laundry. The washing machine was one of those old wringer types. It was in the pantry because it had to get water from the sink and drain into the sink. My middle brother and I would hang over the side to watch the clothes go around. We’d usually get something caught in the wringers, too. I caught my hair and my brother caught his fingers.
    My mother used to hang the clothes outside on one of those clothes lines on a pole. They whirl around. I was too small to reach it. I do remember having frozen clothes in the winter, though.

    This morning I saw my second and third hawk attack in two days. I think this was a young Coopers. He swooped past me as I opened my front door to take the dogs out. He was after birds in my neighbor’s dogwood tree. There was a bit of bird squawking but the hawk had missed. About 10 minutes later, I saw one of the resident crows chasing him out of an oak. After the crow took off, a couple of squirrels (young and foolish ones) started feeding under that oak. Down came the young hawk on the black squirrel. He missed. He saw us and flew off.
    The first hawk attack was Saturday morning while I was waiting at a stop light. A red tail came sailing slowly across my line of sight, talons down. He smashed into the weeds, rustled around a bit, and lifted off again. He hadn’t missed. A small brown rodent dangled from his talons.

    It’s a sunny, cloudless day that’s a lot warmer than it has been. It’s in the 80’s right now.
    Enjoy your day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I never helped my mother do laundry but I’d help her take it down if rain was coming. Her was the same old wringer type. Ours was in the cellar where the deep sinks were. The lines were in the back yard but were straight from pole to pole. I also remember those frozen clothes. They were straight out in their stiffness.

      I see a lot of hawks riding the thermals over the highway but never when they’re hunting or after they’ve caught dinner. I’m surprised the crow screed him off.

      It is the same here, warmer than it’s been.

      Have a great afternoon!

  2. olof1 Says:

    It was always best to get out as early as possible in the morning because the last kid at home had to help with everything 🙂 I never did mind dong the laundry though, allappartment buildings had and still have big washingrooms with lots of washing machines and I’ve always loved any kind of machine. The ones back in the days always looked dangerous (would love to have one of them now though, they never broke down or rusted away) and anything that looked dangerous was fun 🙂

    I have always been a morning person but I have to admit it was a bit tough getting up today . Cloudy and grey with lots of rain. But it will change towards warmer and sunnier tomorrow, how I long!

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      They were dangerous. I knew a kid whose arm got caught in a wringer, and the arm was pretty useless. It looked awful.

      Today is still a beautiful day, warmer than it has been. Gracie and I have to go to the dump a bit later. She’s napping right now here on the couch but will jump up and be ready at the idea of a ride.

      Have a wonderful evening!

  3. flyboybob Says:

    Mornings here are too hot to sit outside and drink coffee. The lows are in the 80s and today we hit triple digits, 100 degrees, again. The average year we have 18 triple digit days. Unfortunately, 99 doesn’t count but it’s still as hot as a firecracker.

    I tried to get my kids to do chores around the house but my wife interfered with my plans. She would tell me that I didn’t have any chores as a kid so why should I require them of my two. The responsibility and character argument fell on deaf ears and now to get them to put a dirty glass or plate into the dishwasher takes an act of congress.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      The mornings are lovely and cool here as it goes down to the low 60’s every night. This week is supposed to be seasonably warm, in the 80’s, except for the cape, The ocean is keeping the heat away.

      Putting dishes in the dishwasher doesn’t merit chore status to me. It is just cleaning up after yourself. I’d stay on them on them until they understood and did it. Did your not having chores impede your sense of responsibility or your character? If not, your arguments wouldn’t work well with your kids.


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