a story for amy

In response to her query regarding the oddest thing I have ever found in the laundry, I have a little story for this morning. Go. Get your coffee. And settle in.

Once upon a time, about nine years ago, K did a wonderful project. In those days, he worked freelance and "wonderful projects" involved booking many weeks of his time. Anyway. He used to give me information about these long term projects piecemeal. I don't know if he was afraid to give me all the information at once, or if he himself would only learn all of it over a matter of days.
This particular project involved a lot of traveling.
A lot of long distance traveling.
Over a long period of time.
He would, in fact, circumnavigate the globe.
(on large luxuriously appointed planes with extravagant meals and in fabulously expensive hotels...but I fear that information is best saved for another post)
He would circumnavigate the globe with a crew and a lot of equipment.
And, he would be gone for about 35 days.
Certainly there were times in our lives when I would not blink at the idea of him traveling for that long, and I didn't really blink. I asked if it would be okay if I got some help with the baby (Youngest was a tiny baby) I got some help for the baby, I helped him pack. And off he went.
It was a long time to be gone.
We put a map of the world in the dining room and charted his progress.
We made a calendar of activities to do while he was away.
We made a paper chain with links for each day he was gone. We broke off a link each day and the boys could really see how much longer it would be until he returned.
It really went quite well. (In hindsight I realize that it went VERY well, especially considering the fact that he ended up being away for 6 full months of projects that year.) I was afraid while he was in the Philippines and Kuala Lumpur. He liked South Africa and New Zealand. I was jealous of his time in Hong Kong (honk honk Middle called it).
I don't remember too many little tragedies on the home front.
But I do remember that the dryer kind of stopped working well.
It just wasn't as hot as it should have been.
I let it go for about a week and then I started to notice that the clothes were always damp.
But I figured he would check it for me when he got back.
I finally remembered to tell him about it in one of our middle-of-the-night phone calls and he suggested I check the dryer hose. He thought it might need to be cleaned out. And since it smelled a little, I guessed he was right.
So, the next morning, I did just that.
I found a big, dead, very dry rat.
I don't mean mouse.
I know the difference.
I had a little attack. Went upstairs. Called someone expensive. And had everything taken care of. Then I called him in the middle of his night in Malaysia and cried.

I would say,
that was the oddest thing I ever found in the wash.
No wonder nothing else came to mind...car keys, guitar picks, lipstick, toys, money...meaningless junk.


Anonymous said…
Oh my!! That is a wonderfully awful story. Thanks(?) for sharing!

Reminds me of a visiting author at our local school who told a story about being 4 years old and finding what she thought was a very cold sleeping mouse outside in a pile of leaves. She brought it in and tried to warm it up to wake it up. In the oven. Her mother noticed an odd smell and searched, finally discovering the dead rat, half-cooked.