Shelf Life of Laurels

“Nothing wilts faster than laurels that have been rested upon.”

Percy Bysshe Shelley

This is quite likely the one and only wise thing that man ever said. And nowhere is the principle more clearly evidenced than in my laundry pile.

The surest and speediest way for me to get radically behind on the laundry is for me to say smugly to myself, “There now. All caught up on the laundry. How lovely.” The instant I do that is the instant the trouble sets in. It only takes about 36 minutes of laurel-resting for my dirty clothes hamper to look like this. You’d think that one of these days I’d learn that the point of doing the laundry is not in order to “be done.” You’d think that one of these days I’d stop sitting on the stupid laurels.

I’d love to really delve into this question and analyze themes from Ecclesiastes and thresh out the possible incipient Platonic assumptions in my approach to life . . . but I obviously have some laundry to do.

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32 thoughts on “Shelf Life of Laurels

  1. What? Your laundry is all neatly tossed in a three-way HAMPER that has its own corner of the house? Clearly, you are ahead of the game.

  2. Even Ahab said one wise thing, so Shelley’s probably allowed to have one too.

    Now, I have that exact same laundry hamper, and what I’m wondering is why 95% of the time mine looks exactly like that when I only have 2/5 the number of children that you have. Hmmm….maybe a Calculus equation will solve this problem?

  3. I love the last paragraph. :-) I would like to confess that for most of my life I was the type of woman who would rather have her face buried in a book than doing laundry. Give me an intellectually stimulating conversation rather than moving the load over from the washer to the dryer, folding, hanging up, ironing, etc. Of course I could have blamed it all on how I was raised, or I could have said “that’s just not my gift,” and so on. When God brought me home and taught me how to take care of my children and my home, He used your mother’s books.

    Through her books and her Credenda Agenda articles, your mother taught me how to love and respect and submit to my husband, how to love and care for my children, how and why I should desire the fruit of the womb, why it is important to have a clean home, how to look at my home, and I can go on but you get the picture.

    A woman’s home says a lot about the state of her heart. It was said of Sarah Edwards, Jonathan Edwards’ wife, that she kept such a clean home that her household did not get as sick and suffer from diseases as other households at that time.

    Thanks for this post. Must get back to my duties…

  4. Ha! I’m doing laundry now. Or at least seeing how many swigs of tea I can get in before the dryer stops beeping on the wrinkle release. Cheers! :)

  5. oh dear. and how right you are! it’s the moment I think I can get by without doing laundry for a few days, that the entire contents of my family’s closets enter into the laundry room. eeee-yuk!

  6. Whenever I get overwhelemed by the laundry pile I think about how darn easy we have it! Think of what it took for the women throughout history to get clean clothes. Make the soap, boil the water, scrub the clothes, ring them out, then try to dry them with uncooperative weather. Thank you Lord for the ability to put clothes in a machine and press a button! To whom much is given much is required…

  7. During our home remodel I have had to go to the corner laundromat. I found that 6 loads of laundry only took 1.5 hours to wash and dry. Then reality sunk in, folding takes the same amount of time.

    I think it is fine to enjoy that half hour of “all the laundry is done” feeling. It is like the fleeting whiff of honeysuckle on a spring day. Nice. Just doesn’t last long.

    We could be like the old days when they wore the same clothes all week. That would cut down on a considerable amount of clothes washing. :)

    At some point I started making Friday the cleaning day. House would be cleaned top to bottom. I would just try to get it done before the kids came home from school so I could rest on those laurels for a bit.

  8. Ha! This is FANTASTIC!!! I think I’ll print this one out! During our lunch date together last week…that was an absolute blessing…I remember mentioning how I needed to see a pile of your laundry on the blog.
    You make me happy…always!
    You inspire us ALL with the mundane or the beautiful!
    A big CHEERS to you!!!

  9. Always nice to know I’m not alone! Thank you!

    I’d love to link to this on my blog. Maybe after I’m done folding…

  10. It reminds me of my attitude after I have finished a bunch of ironing and one of my children has the gall to actually want to WEAR one of those freshly ironed pieces! What are they thinking??? I just ironed that!

  11. Laundry is my life!
    And Wendy, yes, how dare they wear that newly warmed masterpiece….and then spill juice on it!

  12. haha, as I read this I currently have laundry in the dryers of my on-site laundromat! I’m convinced that after 5 years of having to walk half a block, with 2 kids, multiple loads on my back, multiple times a week, AND staying on top of the laundry, having my own machines will be a breeze! :)

    By the way, I do so love this blog!

  13. Wilted laurels….I’ve related more to Laurel and Hardy or a
    racehorse breaking stride. You know? Everything seems to be
    running smoothly and then a falter, a cough, a slip, and
    someone is bringing flowers. Just not laurels!

  14. Our reformed dining table comes in real handy here. Some days, I just pour one clean basketful after another out on the table and at the end of the afternoon, collect the kids and have a folding marathon.

  15. Oooh! Bekah’s airing her family’s dirty laundry on the blog this week! Spicy moments at the Pastor’s house, indeed!

    Clearly someone needs to market XXL Hampers for the Reformed (and Catholic and Mormon) communities. It’s the overflowing hamper that just looks neglected, even if we did just finish folding and sorting 8 loads. An XXL hamper would at least give the illusion that we moms are really on top of things. (“Hey, look! It’s only half full! And I haven’t washed a load in two days!”) And by XXL, I’m thinking of something roughly the size of, oh, a commercial dumpster—tastefully made of white wicker and lined with unbleached linen, of course.

  16. Ouch…guess I’ll stop resting on my laurels while I read this blog post…and go fold that last load on the couch!

  17. 😀 I was just wondering the other day how one could photograph laundry aesthetically. This isn’t half bad!
    Thanks for sharing the everyday part of life, too.

  18. God provides a divine miracle everyday in my laundry room! The laundry multiplies just like the fish and the loaves…;)

  19. So…I just finished reading my friend’s blog, who is a missionary in the Congo, and has 3 children, and who has to stay up late, doing her washing by hand. No more to complain about around here!

  20. Rebekah, That is hilarious that you should post that! I just posted something almost exactly like that on my blog.
    Only mine was titled, “A WOMAN’S WORK IS NEVER DONE!”
    There’s always one more thing, no matter how much we got done today! Such is life being the mother of five
    like you and me. Fun though.
    Cheers and Happy Laundring!

  21. I am convinced that whomever it was that said “A woman’s work is never done” was specifically talking about laundry. You just can’t stop or it rises up like a monster trying to eat you.. I almost lost a foot once…

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