Check the pockets

Much of the time I feel like I live in a whirlwind.  I'm sure I'm not alone.  It's a world of go, Go, GO!  There is so much to do and remember.  Not that any of it is particularly vital, but at any given time I've got all these little items floating around in my mind.  Things to do; things to buy.  I make lists in my mind and then forget to write them down.  There's work, family, community...all part of my life and all grabbing for a piece of my time.

I'm not saying it's bad.  Nor is it good.  But I let myself get run in so many different directions.  I think that's why I forget stuff.   And I need to slow down; take my time when I do things.  Rushing really doesn't move things along any faster.  I may think it does, but in reality it doesn't.  That's something we all need to learn.

Nothing illustrates this point more than last weekend...

It started early.  Friday was the last day of school (specifically my son's last day of elementary school) so I took the day off.  Gave me an extra day of things to do.  And there is always a lot to do.  Especially since the next day we were driving out to my in laws and spending the night in a hotel so that the next day they could take my son on a 2-1/2 day trip to Gettysburg.  The day flew by and though there was some "down time" (we took my son out for late lunch to celebrate and I had my cousin over for a "wine/whine" session) I still felt like most of the day was a flurry of running around and doing "things."

Saturday was just as busy.  I had packed my son's bag for the time he would be away and most of my stuff prior to the actual day, which was a good thing seeing as I volunteered for part of the morning in a thrift shop and then immediately went to a church meeting (which ran longer than I expected). Then I ran home, packed up the car and the three of us headed (in the rain) out to PA.

Leaving at 1:30 on a Saturday is not the optimal time to travel, so the trip took us a little longer than I expected.  Still we got checked into the Hampton Inn, met up with my in laws and went out to dinner.  Not together though (and this needs to be noted); my in laws and son went to Olive Garden (which my son ADORES) and my husband and I went to Red Lobster (which my husband ADORES). The two restaurants were right next door to each other, so all worked out well.  Afterwards, my son went with my in laws back to their house for a while and my husband and I headed back to the hotel.

Later that night when I was going through my son's travel bag to get out his toothbrush; I noticed that the bottom of the bag was wet.  And smelled grapey.  (Any parents want to guess what had happened before reading the next paragraph?).

In among his toiletries, I had packed some "just in case" Tylenol (which had never been opened) and some allergy medication.  I assumed the cap was on tight. I USUALLY pack bottles in Ziploc bags so if they leak, the only leak into the bag and not on everything else.  As you might have guessed, I didn't do that this time and a little grape scented liquid can go a long way.

My saving grace was that I DID pack all of his outfits in XL Ziploc bags that were sealed.  (This was way he had a choice each day of a pre-set outfit.  It also assured that shorts, shirts, socks and underwear were all in one place for each day.)  So all his clothes were safe; all I had to do was wipe down the bags. Still, it was a pretty big mess.  And I did use all of the hand towels and washcloths that the Hampton Inn had provided for us that evening.  Was it a catastrophe?  Maybe a minor one.  And if I had taken more time when packing, it COULD have been averted.

Sunday we were up early.  My son went off with my in laws to Gettysburg.  My husband and I headed back to NJ, but not to our home.  It was Father's Day, so we headed over to the NJ shore to spend some time with my parents.

Sunday afternoon we headed back home.  We unpacked by throwing all of our laundry into an already half full hamper.  Laundry went into the washer and then into the dryer while both my husband and I did a myriad of other chores around the house.

Then I got the laundry out of the dryer and discovered red, blue and purple streaks on most everything.  Streaks that had not been there when I put them in the washing machine or when I pulled them out of the cold water wash.  Guesses on what had happened?  Not only where there stains on most of the clothing (somehow, a few pieces managed to escape unscathed), the inside of the dryer was also streaked.

If you guessed red and blue crayons (which combined make purple) hand melted in the dryer, you would be correct.  I didn't check my son's pockets when I did the laundry.  He'd gone off to his favorite restaurant, where they hand out crayons along with a kid's menu.  And I'd been in a rush to get the laundry done that evening along with all of the other "little" things that I needed to do before I started my "work week" on Monday.

Thanks to some ingenuity on my husband's part (the internet has answers for just about everything) and some hard work (ever scrubbed the inside of a dryer with Goo Gone and a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser), we were able to save about 80% of what had gone in the dryer.  (Of course, what didn't get saved were some of my favorite items. Isn't that always the way?)  In rushing to get the laundry done quickly, I ended up spending several hours scrubbing and re-washing 3 loads of laundry.  

It would be too easy to blame my son for this one.  I can't.  I am guilty of doing the exact same thing.  Approximately 10 years ago, I left a lipstick in a pocket and ended up with the same disastrous results. (Although then the streaks where bright pink.)  I didn't learn then either, as in the ensuing years although I have not thrown another lipstick in the wash, I have come up with bits of tissue, coins and Lego pieces.  

I need to learn to check the pockets.  We all need to learn to check the pockets.  To pack with care.  To realize that in order to get things done quickly, sometimes we need to slow down.

I did another load this morning before heading out to work.  Did I check the pockets?  


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