You’d think by now I’d know better than to say, “I’ll never …….” . It never holds up. Almost three years ago, when Jim was approached to take over the laundry service for the local sports camps, I flippantly said, “Fine, but you won’t find me doing dirty camper laundry.” I had been the counselor who bagged the laundry, the director who had dealt with the laundry service, and the Mom who had packed the trunk of the campers hoping everything would make it back home. No way was I going to be the laundry service.

I just finished my third summer of doing laundry. No wonder my family laughs when I say, “Well, I’ll never”, about anything. Jim and Jason established Big Daddy-Tall Son Laundry Service. Jim, of course, is Big Daddy, his granddad name, and Tall Son came from the owner of Tran’s oriental restaurant years ago. When Jason wasn’t with us, Tran would always ask, “Where’s your tallson,” like it was one word and a position in the family.

The learning curve has been challenging. How hard could washing clothes be? When it’s thousands of pounds, it’s tough. I’ve learned how to carry an 80 pound bag of laundry, how to back up and park a big van, and when the sign say only 1/4 cup detergent, it really means 1/4 cup of detergent.

Our team works like a well oiled machine. Diann, Rose, Kelley and Dawn were acquaintances who have become my friends. They’ve carried me though a tough summer of loss just by being there with me. And in some strange way there’s something therapeutic about untangling knots, folding warm clothes, taking a Thai food dinner break and laughing, a lot.

My laundry money is for the vacation fund. Two years ago it went to our trip with Jason, Alison, Travis and Kari to London to see Jill and David. Last summer it went toward the bucket list trip cruise to Alaska for Jim’s brother Joe. This year it goes toward the Brawner party of 15 family vacation.

The banged up elbows, sore muscles, and bruised knees are all worth it. I’ll even try it again next year. So, even though I told Big Daddy and Tall Son “I’ll never….” they have Crazy Momma helping.

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