“There is profundity to explore, but also laundry to do.”

When I woke up, there was sun and a bit of blue. Since then, clouds have taken over the sky and the day has darkened. Rain is not predicted so the clouds serve no useful purpose. I do have a list today and an order of operations. Already I have added and removed books from my little library. I swept the kitchen floor while my coffee was perking, actually dripping but coffee should perk and be accompanied by music. I’m going to wash the kitchen floor today. As for that laundry, it is down the cellar, step two in the saga of laundry. The plants need to be watered. I dusted one this morning with my sweatshirt sleeve aka my handy dust cloth. I’ll probably find more to do as I walk around the house. Maybe I should close my eyes.

When I was a kid, I had no chores. My mother did everything except empty the kitchen basket. That was my brother’s job, but he had selective memory and had to be reminded all the time to empty it. He groused.

When I was growing up, I never learned to work the washing machine or later the dryer. I never cooked. I was inept when it came to household chores, but I didn’t care. I had my mother. When I was in college, I learned to do my laundry, but I was stymied when the washer stopped working and was accompanied by an annoying buzzer. I hand wrung my clothes. I called my mother later. She told me the load was uneven. That was laundry lesson one. Lesson two was to sort my clothes. I learned that when a shirt bled all over everything else. I still never cooked.

When I was in Ghana, I never did laundry. Everywhere I went during training, I paid someone to wash and iron my clothes. When I was finally living at my school, my houseboy Thomas washed and ironed my clothes, mostly dresses. I still didn’t cook. I had no stove, only a small charcoal burner. When it was burning, the wood charcoal aroma wafted through the air, and I could smell it everywhere in the mornings. That is still on my list of favorite smells. My breakfast and lunch were the same every day, eggs and toast in the morning and fruit for lunch. Dinner was mostly beef in a tomato sauce. It cooked a while to soften the meat so it didn’t take out fillings when I chewed. Chicken was another meat for dinner. I bought the chickens in the market and ate a few of my own. They weren’t pets. They were dirty and sometimes nasty, but personal habits aside, they tasted good.

In Ghana, the first thing I successfully made was sugar cookies for Christmas. I had bought gas for my stove from a station one hundred miles away so I could bake the cookies. I rolled the dough with a beer bottle and made trees, Santas and bells from the cookie cutters my mother had sent. I couldn’t believe how delicious they tasted despite my inexperience, my usual ineptitude, in the kitchen. Those cookies sparked my love of cooking and baking. I’m quite good at both. That is not a boast.

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4 Comments on ““There is profundity to explore, but also laundry to do.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Good morning Kat,

    I didn’t know that you had a, “Jewish Mother”. 🙂 My mother, my mother’s sister’s, my grandmothers, and my wife never gave the kids chores. Like you, when I was finally living alone I hired a maid, took my cloths to the laundromat for bundle service, and ate most of my meals either out in restaurants or I brought in takeout. I did learn to cook a few things for when the weather was too terrible to venture outside.

    When I got married I had my maid clean my wife’s house every couple of weeks. She only did it once or twice when my wife fired her. My wife thought that the maid was hot for me. Years later, the Seinfeld TV series made a couple of episodes about this very subject, having sex with your maid. 🙂

    Today the sky is clear and the cooler temperatures will end today with a high of 78°. The rest of the week the high temperatures should reach into the mid to high 80s. I finally got our pool company to get it operating correctly. I had to have a couple of valves replaced and then my pool sweep stopped working. It turned out that we’ve had so much wind that the pool filter basket and pool sweep was getting full of leaves and other debris. The only reason I bought a house with a pool is that my better half wanted a pool. She and daughter enjoy it in the hot summer months.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      I thought about the no chores over time. My mother was the third of eight children. She had several chores including baby sitting numbers 5 and 6. Maybe she didn’t want us stuck with chores, especially me as I am the oldest.

      I have had a variety of house cleaners. My last couple cleaned my house for 15 years then she died suddenly. I decided to wait to see if her husband was going to continue cleaning so I cleaned my house myself for seven months but couldn’t wait any longer so I hired my current cleaner, a friend of a friend. She is wonderful and is great with the dogs. The only problem is she is Brazilian and doesn’t speak English. My couple too had been Brazilian but spoke English. I do a lot of miming.

      Today stayed cloudy all day and was windy. I did laundry and hung around the house. It was a quiet day. I only went out to arrange my little library, take out books and add books. Tomorrow I do have a few errands and a doctor’s appointment, a check-up.

      We are a long way from summer here.

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    We didn’t have chores either. My mother experimented with having my next youngest brother and me do the supper dishes. It didn’t go well. We argued intensely over who was going to wash and who was going to dry. We both wanted to wash because the washer got done first and could go watch tv. The idea that the washer should then help the drier and we’d both get done at the same time and more quickly was apparently too complicated to occur to either of us. My mother gave up. But we did have de facto chores. Mine was to watch my two brothers. Theirs was to make my life miserable in the process, and to take out the trash and garbage. 😀
    Have a great day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      Those arguments are familiar. My brother and I had to alternate babysitting my sisters. We fought over whose turn it was which was silly as that was easy to figure out, but we argued anyway. My parents didn’t give up. They wanted a night out.

      Later my two sisters were required to clear the table and put dishes in the dishwasher. They rebelled because my brother and I had had no chores, and here they were stuck. They wailed it wasn’t fair.

      Enjoy the sunshine!

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