Dirt Burt

When my brother and I were kids, my Mom would call us Dirt Burt if we got filthy. I'd get dirty a lot. Lots of laundry from Mom, no doubt. Jared and I crack up about Dirt Burt. It's such a great name.

"I don't know how you continue to do the laundry with everything else going on," says Jared.

This blog is at least partially about "getting the laundry done", or so says my header. Well, a few  laundry items to air out:

I found a pile of my field work clothes from Monday in a wet heap in the corner of the kitchen.  "I just did darks," I said to Jared. "Don't worry, you can wash them with my field clothes."

Every Wednesday Jared ventures into trackless wilderness with another botanist. Yesterday, I could smell him from across the porch. "How about you take a shower before dinner?" I say. I grab his soaked swamp sneakers from him and offer to put them by the dehumidifier. "You better wash your hands after that," he says. Poison ivy, ticks, chiggers.

Yep, chiggers. Ever get nasty, itchy, big, oozy bites along the belt line, sock tops, underwear elastic, backback straps? That's chiggers. Not fleas, not mosquitoes. Though I fear Lyme disease et al., chigger bites are the worst.

Today is Thursday. I did the laundry despite the misty weather, and the need to use the dryer. Those Monday field clothes had to be washed. Another full load of darks.

Lots of layers today. It was chilly. Beren went outside, and I tossed a flannel short over his t-shirt. In no time, we was at the pond, shoeless. "Isn't it a little cold to get wet?" No answer. "OK, up to your ankles is fine." Moments later he lands on his bottom, "Ugh!" he says. Soaked up to his chest. Out comes the clothes horse.

In winter I think, "It's winter, lots of bulky clothes means lots of laundry. In spring, it will be easier. No coats, mittens..." The clothes horse comes out, and should stay out, but I battle it. The morning load of mittens and socks. The afternoon load of mittens and boot liners. The evening load of mittens and socks. If it's snowing or we've been playing, any remaining hook, chair or knob is occupied with a hat, scarf, jacket.

In spring I think, "It's spring, we're all excited to be outside all the time, and there's lots of mud. And laundry. Summer will..." In spring there are lots of jackets - leaky raincoats, bulky fleeces, trim denim vests. Wet socks, hats. Wet sandbox sand stuck to everything. Countless layers for cool mornings, another set for warm afternoons, and another set of warm layers for the evening because the morning layers haven't dried yet.

Summer as bad as winter, perhaps worse. The the body odor-rich layers, sandy sandbox layers, sandy beach layers, sun screen sticky layers, tick layers, chigger layers. Swamp sneakers, filthy backpack, wet butt, sweaty drawers, dewy morning slippers, and so on.

Autumn, well, who the h*ll wants to think about that month when summer's almost here?