“They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom for trying to change the system from within.”
~ Lenoard Cohen
About the author
First and foremost, I am the co-parent of The World’s Most Codependent Cat. Seriously. People say cats aren’t affectionate, they aren’t loyal, blah blah blah. To them I say most emphatically, meet this d@mn cat. After she has effectively sniffed your lower extemities, followed up with her approving nuzzling for five minutes or so, followed then with unending pleas to play, scratch and otherwise entertain her, you will be disavowed of any unfair stereotypes you held about aloof felines.
And this is the kind of little tramp she is with strangers. We won’t even talk about the cloying sort of attachment she has with us.
Fortunately, I am also human to the World’s Most Patient Parent Cat, who has endured Cat #1 with great patience, reasonably paired with fair instruction and discipline.
They are, oddly matched and highly bonded (kind of like me and my husband). Thank goodness for us.
Otherwise, I write both fiction and non-fiction. Please visit my sister site, “Diary of a Screen Junkie,” devoted to television and movie reviews of science fiction, dystopian and fantasy fiction. Right now I’m focusing on The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Westworld.
For my long-time followers, TWD reviews have moved there.
Samples of my fiction should appear soon, but I do need to work out some copyright issues.
Why it’s called “The Laundry Years”
It had been a dream of mine for almost ten years to start a blog when I finally started this one in 2011. When I did start the blog, the name presented a bit of a problem. That’s right, I nursed and kept alive a dream for eight years without naming it. Well, okay, I named it several times … none worked.
So why “the laundry years”? Really, if I have all these aspirations to artistic greatness (and I do), couldn’t I have thought of something else? A pithy little allusion to e.e. cummings, or some edgy quote from Tom Waites, or something meaningful from Goethe or Leonard Cohen. (Mixing the four of those together might explain a good bit.)
One night I was deliberating this – okay, more complaining than deliberating — with my husband, as I was also whining that a bit too much of my material was focused on the magic of hanging laundry in the mornings. I didn’t see that as a big seller no matter how highly I thought of it. My husband, whose heroes from a different world include Caroll Shelby* and Norm Abram, was an unexpected source of inspiration. There he was, having a moment of brilliance without a care in the world: “well, don’t you artists and writers have periods? Like Picasso? These are your ‘laundry years.’ Later you’ll have have another phase.” I’d sweated bullets for weeks for nothing half that good. Men.
It stuck. In fact, those are my laundry years: I’d lost my lucrative job, I was a caregiver to a very sick mother, and worse was yet to come. Throughout those years, and until very recently, it brought me joy and peace to hang laundry in the mornings on my back porch. Either the morning was quiet, and I could listen to the wind, the birds, even the crickets, looking out on the protected little bit of wilderness beyond our back yard. For a few years, I could listen and watch children play in the yard, or wind their way among the cotton that blew in the wind. The ritual of spring, for me, in my heart, was not the sight of flowers in bloom or the first robin. It was always the first day warm enough that I could hang out my laundry.
What am I trying to say, and to whom am I trying to say it?
The blog has evolved over the years. While my introduction has been so far light-hearted and I hope funny, this blog willt ake a few serious turns. Honestly, more than a few.I’ve now discovered a need to say a certain kind of thing, a message, to very specific groups of people. To the complacent, I hope to bring a certain insight. There’s so much to be understood for the world to improve, hell, just for the world to survive. I’m not saying I’m a brilliant mind with the solution to everything. I’m saying that for the sheltered, the complacent, the well-intentioned, I have a message from the other side.
To the burdened and lost, to those of us whose complacent illusions have been shattered, I hope to send a message of solidarity. That sounds so pretentious. But oddly, a few of those seem to be the most popular, so I’m going to keep with it. We are too often convinced by ourselves, by the world around us, that we are alone in more ways that one. Not just that we are without connection or fellowship, but that we are singular, isolated by the uniqueness of our brokenness, or our grief, or our humanity.
It’s been about six years, and I don’t really hang laundry. There are no children playing anymore, my mother has passed. The playset was prematurely abandoned and the yard is empty. I hope I do again, though. There was so much joy and peace on those early mornings, standing under the sun, looking up at pines that seem to reach for the fading moon, watching the wind blow the cotton shirts or sheets like so many flags on a warm spring day.
* I am by no means knocking gear heads. My husband has shown me the brilliant artistry and science that has to go into creating a car, let alone a NASCAR race car. When people get their classist panties in a wad anymore, I am the first one to share with them that NASCAR racing is perhaps one of the most scientific sports, involving physics, engineering and mathematics, as well as most mentally demanding. You see if you can run a car around a track four or five hundred times, with thirty other cars, at 150 miles per hour, making sure your attention does not stray once, knowing that letting your eyes of the road or your mind wander for a split second can mean not just the difference between winning or losing millions of dollars, but also life and death. Now that’s a sport. Golf? Pish posh.