This laundry tip is for the birds

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By Rachel Johnson, Staff Writer

In my last column, I mentioned my laundry was piling up; so was my housework because it is the time of year when I can’t think of spending a waking moment anywhere else other than the beach.

The powers that be must have seen my mounting pile of laundry and decided to give me a rainy Saturday where I didn’t feel the pull to be outside.

When I awoke I knew immediately from the pitter-patter sounds on my windowsill that I would not be spending a lazy day on the beach soaking in the sun, searching for sea treasures and walking the shoreline.

Instead I woke up and made an executive decision to pile my loads of laundry into laundry baskets and, yes, even trash bags, and head off to Shallotte to a laundry mat. I figured I could knock it all out at once and not be tied to the house for the entire day.

As I was rounding up my laundry, I remembered that in a cleaning frenzy a week prior I had washed a few rugs and spot-cleaned a comforter. My parents were coming to town and instead of hanging items across the towel bar in the bathroom to dry, I hung them over the back porch railing.

I decided this was the time to wash them and maybe dry them properly. I went to the back porch, grabbed the rugs and the comforter, threw them in a bag and added them to the other 40 tons of laundry.

Faced with the daunting task of hours at a laundry mat, I called a good friend of mine and told her my brilliant plan. She decided she would join me and do the same. What better way to spend a rainy Saturday than catching up on a few weeks of laundry.

As we arrived at the laundry mat, I carried my many bags of clothing, bedding and rugs in and began sorting them into washers. I decided to put the comforter in the jumbo washer—the one I could get inside if I wanted to.

As I loaded the large washer, I noticed a stick mixed in with the comforter. I flipped the comforter over and with horror quickly flipped it back down.

I had to call for backup—or at least a second opinion.

I asked my friend to come over and help me. She looked at me a bit strangely, and apprehensively reached into the washer to pull back the blanket. She quickly flipped the blanket back down and jumped back a step.

The look on her face didn’t quite mirror the horror on mine. She was amused, so much so she began to laugh hysterically.

I panicked. “What do I do?” I asked her.

I decided the best thing was to grab the blanket and take it out the back door before any other patrons realized what was happening.

With a swift grab, I emptied the washer and was standing outside in the rain. I was holding a rug and the comforter. My friend was laughing hysterically; I was mortified.

As I shook the blanket, a large bird’s nest fell to the ground along with at least five small eggs.

I wanted to cry.

I didn’t know what to do. I planned to take the nest home with me and return it to my back porch, but this only made my friend laugh harder.

As I stood in the rain, trying to figure out whether to laugh or cry, she ran back inside and rounded up all the children to come and see the eggs. Now I embarrassed.

I was that girl. You know the one, who brought a bird’s nest complete with eggs in her dirty laundry to the laundry mat. The one who just moments earlier was about to wash the nest with her comforter. Thank goodness I hadn’t added the laundry detergent.

The children squealed as they got a close-up look at the nest and the eggs. My friend laughed when she asked me if I planned to sit on the eggs at home until they hatched. She finally convinced me there was no way the mother bird would return to the nest.

Another lady in the laundry mat added that if I took them back to my porch now, they would just become snake food.

I felt horrible, but I learned a very valuable lesson: Always double-check your dirty laundry for bird’s nests.


Rachel Johnsonis a staff writer and a columnist at The Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or rjohnson@brunswickbeacon.com.