Just Five Minutes of Laundry?

This is the day when we write for five minutes non-stop, no editing for Lisa-Jo Baker’s “Five Minute Fridays”. So, here it goes:

socks and underwear in basket

I finally did it. On the Thursday before he was to come home from college for fall break, I rummaged through the pile of discarded clothes in Youngest Son’s bedroom and made stacks — what to give away, what to store away, and what to wash.

What to wash……

Who would have thought that years of wearing out the washing machine with four boys’ dirty blue jeans, mud-stained T-shirts and grimy socks would have come down to this: a tiny load of forgotten favorites.

In conversation with an old friend early this morning, I was asked about this empty nest of ours. “So, are you liking this new season you find yourself in?” I had to be honest, so I told her.

“Not really. It stinks.”

Of course, I laughed and added that there were some good parts, but mostly, I’m still getting used to the idea. And some days, it does stink.

Not the kind of stink I used to complain about — you know, the sweaty gym shoes, smelly basketball uniforms, weeks-old apple cores found under their beds. But the kind of stink that says “not much happening around here these days.” A sweet fragrance, perhaps, in a different state of mind. But kind of an empty smell when you’re used to all that parenting activity surrounding and filling your days. There’s still plenty to do in my world, but it doesn’t have the same friendly fragrance as a pile of dirty blue jeans and wrinkled PJs.

Laundry……..wouldn’t mind doing a little more of it once in awhile.



  1. Anne

    Hi Ingrid. I can relate to you. Empty nest for two years, but then our college grad son moved back home until he finds a job. But, he’s doing his own laundry. 🙂 In my FMF post I reminisce about the same son when he was a baby. Oh, the laundry memories! It’s a love/hate relationship for me!

    • Ingrid Lochamire

      I get where you’re coming from. I look forward to reading that post about your son as a baby. Thanks for visiting here!

  2. Andria Bicknell

    Beautiful. I still have a few loads of laundry to do between now and the empty nest. But, I appreciate the ordinary things that ties us to our children…like rumpled PJs, rotten apple cores, and smelly gym bags. Thank you for the gentle reminder to embrace every stage.

    • Ingrid Lochamire

      Indeed! Thanks, Andria, for stopping by here. Blessings on your parenthood journey!

  3. Anita Ojeda

    Ah, the bittersweet fragrance of an empty nest! Our girls are both in college, and I find that my resentment over the quotidian jobs has lessened (ok, maybe disappeared) since I no longer have to do them as much or as often. I regret that I didn’t have an attitude of service for so many years. But it’s never too late to change! I happily do laundry for both my husband and myself now…God used my season of caregiving (hubby had cancer) to show me the beauty of service and patience.

  4. mgillgrist

    Hi Ingrid as someone on the other end of the laundry piles, I so appreciated your post. I have this quote in our laundry room “if you still are in the process of raising children, be aware that the piles and piles of laundry will disappear all too soon. And to your surprise you will miss them profoundly.”
    I need to read that when the daily feels overwhelming…to embrace this season, each season, as it comes. Thank you for your words.

    • Ingrid Lochamire

      Thank you, Melanie. I wish I’d had such a reminder during those years of dirty blue jeans! It passes all too quickly.

Pin It on Pinterest