Saturday, March 29, 2014


For as long as I can remember, my mom has been the laundry goddess.

She's one of the few people I know who absolutely loves doing laundry.

And she's really, really good at it.

Her own laundry is always perfect-

ringless collars, creases aligned, no leftover spots.

I have occasionally been known to bring her

a few troublesome spots and stains

Because I knew that my mom,

the laundry goddess,

could make them all disappear.

But now that has all changed.

My mom cannot manage the walker,

maintain her balance,

and do laundry.

So my sisters and I have taken over.

Today I was at my mom's apartment

and the hamper was overflowing.

I was nervous because I knew

I could not hope to measure up to the standards

of the laundry goddess.

I did one load in the laundromat

across the hall from her apartment

It was slow.

and it didn't seem like the dryer worked all that well

I decided to bring the other two loads home

because my washer and dryer

work much better.

So tonight this

reluctant and incompetent

laundry lackey

is doing laundry

for the goddess

My mom pulls clothes from the dryer

after only a few minutes

hangs them carefully on plastic hangers

clothespins the pant legs from the bottom

I usually throw everything in the dryer

and leave it until I need the dryer again

or need something out of that load

tonight I am digging through my closet

searching for plastic hangers and clothespins

and jumping up every few minutes

to pull items from the dryer

hoping that by some miracle

my meager efforts

will meet the approval

of my mother

the laundry goddess.


Linda B said...

Although our moms are good people, I think we place such hard expectations on ourselves to please. Do you think it's a 'girl' thing? Sorry you had to bring it home? That's tough, & then to get it looking great, tougher. I'm not such a laundry queen, hope it's spot free & relatively wrinkle free. Have a good break, Carol!

Cathy said...

It sounds like you were working your laundry magic too. I had to laugh when you said you often leave your laundry in the dryer until you need something or another load is going through. At our house, my older kids now do their own laundry. We have instituted a game called "dryer chicken." The object is to leave your clothes until someone else gets stuck folding them because they need the dryer. I lose the game a lot.

I'm sure your mom appreciates your efforts.


Ruth Ayres said...

I love the specificity of this writing. The tiny details that makes me feel like I know your mom and you. The way it seems you let me in on a secret of your attempt to live up to the laundry goddess. Your love for your mom is evident in this writing. Thank you for sharing it here.

Ramona said...

Love this piece, Carol. What a labor of love you provided as lackey to the goddess. My mom was goddess of the ironing board. She loved ironing!

Tam said...

I can tell you love and respect your mom a lot. I'm sure other qualities/talents of your mom are instilled in you quite naturally. Love that you made her a goddess!

Loralee said...

Made me teary. My mom is magical with laundry too.