Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 7, 2016

Don't forget your clothes

By Steph Tahtinen

By STEPH TAHTINEN

Mt. Pleasant News

After five nights on an air mattress, I was happy to go back to my own bed on Monday night. I was also happy to have my apartment back to myself — you know what Benjamin Franklin says about fish and visitors. I loved every minute of my parents visiting for Thanksgiving, but having houseguests for just over four days was a bit of a shock to my hermit-like existence.

Yet, there’s something great about having family around that makes life so much more entertaining. And I’m not talking about any picture-perfect scenes worthy of a greeting card. Rather, I’m talking about the strange mishaps that — even though I know they happen to everybody — seemingly only happen to my family. Those times that become a source of funny memories and family jokes for years to come.

For example, I’m sure that Dad and I will be teasing Mom for years to come by reminding her, “Don’t forget your clothes!”

There are actually two different occasions that led to this. Most recently, as Mom and Dad were packing up to leave early Monday morning, Mom had assured Dad that she had everything on a pile in the living room. Dad went to check and he came walking back down the hallway carrying a paper grocery bag and asking, “Are these your clothes?”

“Oh yeah!” Mom answered, laughing as she realized she had almost left five days’ worth of dirty laundry at my apartment. Maybe she subconsciously wanted me to launder them and bring them home at Christmas.

But at least she brought clothes with her this time. When I moved to Mt. Pleasant, Mom and Dad were staying at a motel so I could get settled into my apartment. Shortly after they left for the night, Mom called and asked if her suitcase was somewhere amid the piles stacked around my apartment. It wasn’t.

It turns out, in the flurry of activity packing our vehicles with my stuff, Mom’s suitcase was left behind in Wisconsin. The next day, Mom showed up at my apartment in new clothes she bought late the night before.

It wasn’t the first time my family has had to go buy new clothes while on a trip. When I was around five years old we once had to go buy me a new shirt because I had spilled something all over the one I was wearing. In my memory it looks like chocolate ice cream, but I’d have to check with Mom to confirm that.

On one vacation I got carsick all over my dad’s shoes. He didn’t buy new shoes, though. He just cleaned them off and kept wearing them. Other tourists kept giving him strange looks because of the smell, though.

Clothing mishaps seem to run in the family. My aunt and uncle once forgot their clothes, too. Well, I should clarify that they had their clothes with them. They just forgot where they had put them.

During the six-hour drive to visit us, they decided to take their pickup through an automatic carwash. The soap cycle had just started when they remembered that their suitcases were in the open bed of the truck. I have a vivid memory of my aunt standing in our kitchen, pulling out clothes to put in our dryer.

I don’t think this was the vacation they realized they were using the same toothbrush, though.