Jan Would Like A Word

Dearest Rachel –

I think I may have mentioned it to you previously, but today’s work on the laundry room – and your closet – have reminded me to remind you that you may need to prepare yourself for when Jan gets up to see you someday.

It seems she would like to talk to you about a few things.

And I’m not sure I’d blame her. I have a few things that I’d be curious to know about, myself.

For example, it’s one thing to have expired spices in the kitchen that we’re hanging on to. Heck, I didn’t realize that spices actually expired, did you? Maybe herbs, yeah, even the dried stuff, but spices? I thought those lasted. Anyway, I keep learning stuff like this as we go on. But having this in the kitchen is perfectly understandable, especially if you were as ignorant on the subject as I was.

What she – and I – don’t understand is why there was a spice carousel on the floor of your closet. And considering the piles we’ve had in the laundry room, I can’t imagine that much of what was in that closet has been gotten to in at least ten years.

So yeah, that’s another thing for the rubbish bin, I’m afraid.

She also located my old university ring, telling me that “you’ll cry when I tell you where I found this.” Based on that, I was expecting a pile of old letters from either of us, although, again, I have no idea why those might be in the laundry.

Turns out, it was among a pile of old laundry sheets. You know, the used fabric softener sheets? How many of those did you keep, honey? In any event, it kept the ring (and the box it came in) well padded, so there’s that. But yeah, it’s a really strange place to have put it.

Now, I’ve told you about how happy she gets about finding money as she cleans out a house – as well as being praised (deservedly) for her integrity for turning any funds she finds over to the homeowner as she finds it. And you also know that she’s been finding money in many of the usual places – greeting cards, gift bags, and that sort of thing.

There was one case, however, in the laundry room that truly took the biscuit – and of course, I would be the one to find it, and right in front of Jan, thus robbing her of the glory of the discovery. But come on, who expects to find a fifty-dollar bill in an old leather grooming kit? I’m going to assume that the kit was supposed to be a gift for Daniel, and he missed out on finding the funds as well by setting it aside. But that’s just a theory on my part.

Either way, I think Jan would like to ask you about that one – oh, and that’s not to mention the book of puzzles in your nightstand with not only a fifty (which had a post-it from Mom asking us to buy ourselves something nice on our trip – which I’m sure we did, but with either local currency procured from an ATM, or a credit card, so you kept the bill and used it as a bookmark), but a hundred dollar bill. As Jerry Seinfeld is ‘known’ for saying, what’s the deal with that?

We wrapped up the day a little early, as she and her husband Scott are preparing to fly out to see her newborn granddaughter next week (gosh, what am I going to DO for a full week of no Jan?!), and took a collection of bags to the folks to wash and process. Among these bags of clothes were also three bags of quality yarn and wool, one of which was one of those vacuum-sealed bags I vaguely remember you oohing and ahhing over long ago for keeping fabrics moth-free in storage. Now, I guess it stands to reason that you might have ‘inherited’ some of this fiber inherited from your mom, but most of it doesn’t seem to be her hand-made work; there’s a lot of store-bought stuff here. I know you used to knit shawls for premature infants as part of the Linus Project, but I thought you had set that aside some time ago – and in any event, most of these skeins aren’t in the colorful pastels that I’d associate with those crafts.

When she saw me bringing in these bags, Mom commented that you were ‘a regular yarn store,’ prompting me to correct her that no, you were more a warehouse than a store. As fas as I knew, you weren’t out to sell these, and rather wound up storing them instead.

Although… when Daniel and I went back to the house that evening for dinner (it’s starting to become something of a Thursday tradition, it seems), she brought out a scarf that you had knitted for some sort of craft sale, like the ones you used to go to at Rolling Meadows H.S. each Christmas.

“Knitted with love by Rachel Larson”

It seems there were a number of these, and also a number of these tags you’d planned to attach to them. So I guess that explains this, but considering how much yarn there was, you’d planned on making what? Fifty, a hundred of these scarves?

If it makes you feel any better, honey, the folks have been giving them to their friend Mary, who knits with what is apparently industrial-strength speed. She and several friends crank out scarves and quilts for Northwest Community Hospital and others, so in a way, this yarn is getting back to your Linus Project roots. I would hope that would meet with your favor.

And then, stored waaaay in the back of your closet, on an upper shelf, Jan pulled out a box that, in its first life, contained a toaster. Again, an odd place for such an item, but of course, boxes can be repurposed. And so it was, for inside this box was a collection of lingerie, complete with a list of everything in the box, plus a separate post-it note that may or may not been originally stuck on the outside of the box reading “Hot Stuff”. Which, now that I think of it, is probably appropriate for something stored in a toaster box,

I’m actually going to guess these might have been gifts you received from a bridal shower, as very little of it was purple.

So, yeah…

JonTron "I have several questions" - GIF on Imgur

And so does Jan. So, I’m giving you fair warning, but I think we’ll be wanting some answers when you get the chance. I mean, we’re not going to go storming up there this minute, but if you could put together a few answers once we get there, I think we’d appreciate it.

Published by randy@letters-to-rachel.memorial

I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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