The weather was perfect today. The temperatures were in the low 80’s with very low humidity. This happens maybe two days a year in Wisconsin. We are usually either calculating windchill or trying to breathe in hundred degree temps with a thousand percent humidity. Weather like we had today is rare and we make sure we enjoy it.
I did not enjoy it.
I woke up this morning to discover that if anyone in my family wanted to wear clean clothes, they would have to wear their snowsuits. The ones we wear when calculating sub-zero windchills. It was laundry day and there was no way I could procrastinate even one day longer unless, of course, we moved to Antarctica where our snowsuits would be far more weather appropriate. After debating this for a while I decided that packing up everything we own, including all the dirty laundry, and moving to the South Pole just to put off doing laundry for one more day would be more of a pain than just washing the clothes. This meant a trip to the laundromat.
Now I can hear what you are thinking. You are thinking “Dear, with a family your size, you could pay for your very own washer and dryer in roughly two trips to the laundromat.” You are correct and as a matter of fact I do happen to have a nice washer and dryer. However, we have completely filled our septic system. If this isn’t bad enough, it is even worse when I tell you that we have an entire septic system devoted to our washing machine.
If you (like me) know nothing about septic systems, let me explain what they are. When you live in the country you do not have a sewer system. Instead you have a septic system. A septic system is an enormous cavernous space under the greenest place in your yard where everything that is flushed or drained from your house goes. Once all of this gross stuff gets to the septic system it is filtered by a complex system of sand, gravel, and magical poop eating fairies. Then the remaining purified water ends up someplace else. I’m imagining probably my neighbor’s faucet. Now I am trying not to imagine that because I know who lives uphill from me. Typically your septic system is designed so that with regular use, it will need to be emptied out (I’m guessing this is not a job most six year olds like awake at night dreaming about) every five years or so.
We are blessed with two septic systems. One handles the laundry water and the other handles everything else. Theoretically, our laundry water should have very little waste in it. Theoretically, our laundry septic system should never need to be emptied out. Theoretically, I should never have to go to the laundromat. However, the reality is that when you do five or more loads of laundry a day, you probably qualify for your own water treatment facility.
This means I go to the laundromat, where I spend forty dollars to clean my five year old son’s collection of 82 t-shirts, my 7 year old daughter’s 103 pairs of pajamas, and the piles and piles of other things that accumulate on the floor of the bathroom when I can’t use my washer and dryer. It’s so much laundry I can hardly believe it. I mean, one week people! How may pairs of jeans could you possibly wear in one week? Then I get down to business.
Step one: I decide that we have way too much clothing and decide to donate 90% of it to the nearest thrift store. The pioneers managed to survive with only two outfits, I’m sure my family could do the same.
Step two: Realize that donating all this dirty clothing would make me an evil and disgusting human being. People would probably start calling me Kathy Hitler behind my back. Or to my face. My friends are honest like that.
Step three: Actually wash, dry and fold all those items that the thrift store is going to be so happy to receive.
Step four: Realize that I don’t want to return to the laundromat daily to wash my family’s pioneer clothing. After all, every item I just washed lets me procrastinate returning to the laundromat that much longer.
Step five: Drag all this crap home, sit on the couch and wish it would put itself away. It doesn’t. Hey, maybe I should write a blog instead.