My house is a wreck.
The rugs are filled with pet hair. The bathroom needs to scrubbed, preferably with something bleach based. The kitchen sink is piled with dishes. The laundry – oh sweet heaven! – the laundry is everywhere I look. There are piles in my room, the kids’ rooms, and the bathroom. It’s spilling out of baskets in the basement. We are wallowing in dirty socks and stained t-shirts.
How did this happen? While I have never received any Good Housekeeping awards for my homemaking skills, I do keep my home in a state of semi-organization. There’s a baseline level of order that I strive to maintain – a “lived in” look is okay, dirty is not.
The culprit behind this domestic crisis is a virulent virus that has affected every family member with cruel efficiency. We have fallen like dominoes over the last week. Stuffy noses, pounding headaches, and extreme fatigue have been endured by all.
I have done no more than the bare minimum required to keep our family functioning this week. The bulk of my time has been divided between sleeping, watching Cheers re-runs on Netflix, or goofing around on Facebook while I try to recover.
The kitchen cupboard is now a small pharmacy of over the counter medicine and natural remedies. I believe in trying everything. “Whatever works” is my motto. The kids have rebounded much faster than we adults – ah, the restorative powers of youth! Summer vacation has not yet started, however, and I can’t justify keeping them home from school to wash and fold clothes. (Those pesky truancy laws!)
As Chief Household Engineer and Systems Manager (do you notice that I keep expanding my job title to grander dimensions?), I do assume the lion’s share of responsibility for making sure the clothes are running through the system. It’s my job to “encourage” the kid’s to send their clothes down the laundry chute, and to remind Liam to wash the bag of gym clothes he totes home weekly. I’m the one who typically makes sure Brian has enough cleric shirts on hand, and that Virginia’s favorite pajamas are clean and fluffy.
Not this week. Instead we are all scrounging into the bottom of our dressers to find something clean to wear. We are drip drying after our showers. We are choosing our jeans based on the sniff test. While I succumbed to the lethargy produced by this summer cold, mountains of dirty clothes piled up and are now threatening to fall on us in an odiferous avalanche of clothes and towels.
I’m feeling a fair bit better today, and I’m so grateful for that. I’m thankful for good friends who prayed for our health, and I know that I’m blessed to have a husband who often stepped in to take over a task I was struggling with – even when he wasn’t feeling so great himself. My energy level was depleted this week, but now I believe I’m ready to tackle some of the basic chores. I’m sure I can get these dishes washed and put away today. The vacuum will take a quick pass through the living room. I’ll grab the Clorox wipes and scrub all the doorknobs and light switches where I’m afraid all the nasty germs might still be skulking.
But this laundry?
I fear it will never get done.