Later, when she opens the washer to put the clothes in the dryer she is faced with--once again--little bits of Kleenex ALL OVER THE BLACK CLOTHES. Usually she stands there for a minute and then, after she has sighed a bunch of times, she takes every item out, shakes them, and then, after depositing a billion bits of Kleenex all over the laundry room floor, she picks little bits of Kleenex that didn't get shaken off the clothes and rewashes them.
The other day she had had it. She put every item in a laundry basked, stormed upstairs, hollered for her husband and by the time he came she was outside with a chair and the leaf blower.
"Hi, Honey," he said, going to the open slider. "What's up." With Mrs. Bird for a wife it could be anything.
"Just come out here and hold this." She shoved a pair of black and white pants into his hands. Then she turned on the leaf blower and blew the pants until they were mostly only black. She did that with each piece of clothing he held up. She had him drape the wet clothes over the back of the chair.
By about the second item of leaf-blown clothing Mrs. Bird's husband is laughing. He is laughing so hard he can hardly stand up to hold the clothes.
"Don't you dare laugh, you Kleenex-pajama-pocket-man, you."
This made him laugh harder.
Then Mrs. Bird looked up to see her back-door neighbor, opened mouthed, watching them.
"I thought of telling her what we were doing," she told me, "but it would have taken too long and I had laundry to do. Besides that, maybe she thought we had invented a new way to dry clothes and I wanted to see if she'd try the same thing later in the week."
After all the clothes were leaf blown, her now wheezing husband took the leaf blower away from her and blew all the bits of Kleenex out of her hair and off her clothes. Then she did the same for him. The neighbor now had her hand to her chest.
"I don't think she could see the bits of Kleenex from her yard," Mrs. Bird said. Then she smiled. When Mrs. Bird smiles the whole room lights up. In this case it was the whole back yard. Birds came out to sing. Mrs. Bird's husband put his arms around her and give her a big hug and then he took the chair back in the house, she took the laundry back downstairs to be rewashed and I got a blog post out of it.
Aren't you glad I'm her Visiting Teacher? I will have new Mrs. Bird stories every month. Long live Visiting Teaching--and Mrs. Bird--and her laughing, wheezing, amused husband. And may the back-door neighbor realize what a choice position she is in. There are bored people all over the world who would trade places with her, I'm sure of it.