Laundry Day Sing-along

Posted on February 14, 2013

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Many of my gal friends with retired partners absolutely relish any solo time they can snatch when their spouses are out-of-town, whether that’s a few hours or a couple of days. Apparently, absence, in those cases, doesn’t make the heart fonder, it’s the glue that keeps the union intact. I count myself lucky to have Hubby just shouting distance away on most days, as his office (aka Command Central for I.T. Wizardry) and mine (aka Cubbyhole cranny) are both in our home, two floors apart. While our schedules are quite different as far as demands, we often cross paths for lunch together or a brief poke-in-the-doorway-hello. After over a decade of commuting back and forth to Vancouver on business, now his trips are usually a few days a month – so less stressful for both of us. (He often jokes that the traffic coming home at the end of the day – for dinner, up from the basement stairs – was wretched, and that we might want to put a traffic light in there. Silly man.)

“Love – and a sandwich – will keep us alive.”

Valentine’s Day is a wonderful (yet overly commercial) occasion to celebrate your relationship with someone you love. I like the chocolate-giving part, and the hugs and kisses. Sadly, it’s also a reminder for me, that Hubby will be absent, as his work/volunteer time for the Variety Children’s Charity Telethon in Vancouver always coincides with Valentine’s. As much as I miss him, while I “hold the admin fort” while he’s gone, I suppose I should be grateful for the times when Hubby travels away for business. For purely practical reasons, I catch up on some of the mundane tasks that accumulate – like ironing, mending and laundry.

The basics for a session of ironing.

I don’t find ironing therapeutic like Hubby’s mother does, never have. (She presses everything from bed sheets to pleated shirts.) I am certainly not a lazy a**; I just prefer to spend my efforts elsewhere. I have perfected a technique, however, whereby I gauge the necessity of ironing based upon whether Mount Crumpet has developed and had a landslide off the dryer top. Then it’s time to pull out the ol’ board and “hunker down for a spell” in front of the TV, not watching the mindless rubbish of daytime offerings, but instead pop in a DVD or Blu-ray music video. My favourite is hands-down “The Eagles Farewell Tour I – Live from Melbourne, (2005)”. It’s an oldie but a goodie. With Don Henley’s “Dirty Laundry” cranking out, I almost forget just how long it was since my last ironing session and how many shirts are ahead of me.

The Eagles’ music has universal themes, but somehow I feel they have touched on personal aspects of my life. As I rooted into the pile of clothes for ironing, looking for Hubby’s favourite dress shirt, I heard them sing “… sure I’m gonna find you, one of these nights …”. Twenty minutes into the ironing, I was singing along to Timothy B. Schmidt’s “Love Will Keep Us Alive” and wondering if Hubby could just go shirtless during the summer months and reduce his laundry footprint. Naaah, keep on ironing and singing, “searching for a place to hide …”.

My procrastination pile of ironing.

Forty-five minutes into “conquering Mount Crumpet”, I noticed my tummy starting to rumble and the clock said it was time for a refuelling break. Coincidentally, Timothy was singing again, this time it was “… when we’re hungry, love will keep us alive …”. I figured a ham and cheese sandwich would work as well.

Eagles Farewell Tour I – Melbourne (2005)

The Melbourne concert video has 30 fantastic tracks of their hit songs and I know all the lyrics. (Yes, I was one of those crazy but fortunate fans at their last concert gig in Vancouver a couple of years ago, singing along in the stadium. Any inhibitions melt away when you hear  them play “All She Wants to Do is Dance” and “Take it Easy”.) It’s genuine feel-good, beautifully written words combined with harmonies and outstanding arrangements. I don’t think I’d ever get tired of listening to their music. But I was getting tired of ironing.

And then Joe Walsh took a turn singing “Life’s Been Good to Me So Far” just as I reached for the last hanger  for the last pressed shirt, and it caused me to reflect that indeed my life has been blessed. My Valentine and I may be apart again for the big day, but we are connected in non-tangible ways, something nurtured over many years. Thanks to the Eagles’ music, I was reminded of Love’s heartache, endurance, and  joy.

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