Extreme Laundry

Today, in the middle of May, we had visions of standing outside on a beautiful spring day, temperatures in the 60s, under that famous Tahoe sun, watching the cyclists in the 2011 Amgen Tour of California whiz by us. Everyone in Tahoe has been excited for this event, the largest event of its kind to come to the area since the 1960 Winter Olympics.

But wouldn’t you know it, Mother Nature had other plans. The Winter of 2011, as it turns out, is the winter that just keeps on giving. And giving. We woke up this morning to about 6 inches of snow outside and full winter conditions. It’s still snowing six hours later.

I don’t even feel like skiing anymore. I am ready for hiking and biking and flip-flops and tank tops. Sigh.

Instead, what I decided to do with the extra hours afforded by the delay of the race, is to deal with the aftermath of the avalanche that slammed into our house two months ago. You know how when someone tries to steal your car by breaking the window and the car alarm goes off so they run away, but now you still have a headache on your hands because you have to spend time and money fixing your car? That’s kind of how I feel about the avalanche damage. It’s been one big suck of time and money.

Today, it’s sucking time. And water. We had six years worth of Child #1 and Child #2’s old clothes in garbage bags in the garage, waiting to pass down the girl’s clothes to Child #3 and give away or sell the boy’s clothes. All were completely buried under 6 feet of snow in the avalanche. I have been procrastinating for 2 months, but finally, out of pure concern that Child #3 would only have moldy clothes in her future, I started bringing in the bags of clothes and dumping them out on our living room floor. That’s a lot of clothes.

I also discovered that a varmit or two was having a field day in some of the bags, pooping and munching to their hearts’ content. It was like a bunch of mice threw a frat party in a bag of pink clothes, and the aftermath isn’t pretty. Little teeny poops everywhere. Jackets with holes in it. Pure joy for me.

The loads of laundry that are in my future are daunting. I debated bringing everything to a laundry mat, but that could just be a bigger headache, what with having to find $100 worth of quarters. Not to mention hanging out in a laundry mat for a day with creepy people. Why are there always creepy people at a laundry mat? One time when I was living in Washington, DC, I watched a homeless guy take a piss in the corner of a laundry mat while I was washing my clothes. I didn’t come out of there feeling very clean.

I’m thinking I might bring a bag of wet clothes with us when we watch the peloton race by. I’ll hang all the clothes on a wire, and the pure speed of the cyclists whizzing by will dry them. Or maybe that’s just as much wishful thinking as the hope that winter will one day stop giving.

Moldy tennis shoe, anyone?