Laundry Lingo

It is 8:40am on a day we are chasing cows. It is slightly ridiculous that I am sitting at my desk writing. We have a large crew on the trail, I have lots of mouths to feed. However, everything seems under control. I told myself that if I got the chili in the crockpots by 8:30 I could write til 9. All that is left to do is make coffee and hot chocolate, load up and get to our lunch destination, near Alameda.

The chili is in the crockpots.

I have a guest staying in my laundry room tonight. Therefore it is a bit of a priority to keep working at my regular laundry routine. Usually I ignore it altogether on a chase weekend and maybe for a couple days afterward. However, to make room for the bed I have to get my sorting carts out and I would rather do that with them less full rather than more. So, after getting the crew on the trail this morning and washing up the dishes, I headed down to the laundry room.

I opened the dryer to find a load of dark clothes waiting for me, one of Morgan’s work t shirts was peeking out. The collar was opened right up for view. The tag on the t-shirt was fully visible. It said “KYLE W”, an iron on laundry id tag for the days that my Dad lived in a nursing home. I have this shirt because after he died we came home with alot of his clothes. Russ has been using them for work, they didn’t fit him well enough to be good clothes, and now Morgan is wearing them.

I spent many moments yesterday thinking about my Dad. Mostly the shape of my thoughts was, he never saw this stage of my life, he never viewed me at home on the ranch I share with my family, he never ever saw this side of me. The follow up thought was, “my Dad would be proud of me, he would find it very interesting to watch me do my thing.” He was intently interested in people.

This morning, as I strive to be on top of things, I opened the dryer door to see his name staring at me. Obviously I have handled his clothing hundreds of times over the 16 years since he passed. It struck me odd however that in all the multitude of ways that clothes can tumble and land in a dryer, it all landed in a way that allowed me to be confronted by his memory.

Later as I was getting the chili organized I was listening to Youtube, to a public speaking specialist, he was using a Brene Brown talk to explore the key elements of good public speaking. He used the very opening moments of her speech and so I got to hear the moment when after she was introduced she stepped on stage to raucous applause. It went on and on. The thought went through my head, if my Dad could respond to me right now I think he would be applauding me. The thought gave me goosebumps. As I write this now I it almost brings me to tears.

While I was cooking some messages were zinging back and forth from Nova Scotia. Pictures shared, comments about the day passed back and forth, from people I didn’t even know a couple years ago and even last month at this time. Real live people offering a living presence of kindness and encouragement.

I will always remember my Dad and his cheerleading presence in my life. I am grateful for the ways that others step into the gap. I suspect it is a task that we all face to dance with our grief, our memories, our sense of loss and all that it means and at the same time be thankful and grateful and alert to the multitude of ways that love and care break into our current daily lives.

On that note……Liz Griffin shared a picture she recently took of Morgan on Facebook yesterday. I love it. He is a little bit like my Dad, but he is fully himself and I am blessed to get moments with him every day.

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