Tag: chores

A Boarding School Education Part II: The Room at the Top of the Stairs

 

With my suitcase of home-sewn dresses, summer clothes from the market, and the precious store-bought red and white checked skirt I was saving for the first day of school, I climbed on the night bus for Bangkok.  I would proceed north from the humid capital to Chiang Mai, where I was to start my first term at boarding school.  It was fall 1982, and I was eight years old. I wasn’t alone–my older brother was coming with me. I imagine my parents and younger siblings came along, too, at least as far as Bangkok.

In Chiang Mai, we entered a soi, or side street, and turned down a driveway of an expansive property with a two-story building to one side. The house was white on the first floor, with dark wood on the second.  My brother and I were part of the first cohort of dorm kids to live here, which included several other sibling pairs along with the German dorm parents and their four children.  The first floor was mostly one open room, with a cool concrete floor, long kitchen, dining tables, living area with straw rugs, and red-patterned curtains. I heard stories from Papi, the dorm dad, about how the first iteration of the building had been so sloppy that they’d had it torn down and rebuilt. The yard was still a mess, he said, and needed lots more work.

Warehousing Joy: A Retail Therapy That Works

 

Mostly, I hate to shop. I cook well enough that buying ingredients is sometimes a pleasure, but retail therapy doesn’t work on me. There’s only one kind of store where I consistently leave calmer than when I arrived, and that’s a home-improvement warehouse.

Many household chores produce only ephemeral improvement. Doing laundry and dishes never ends. With toddlers underfoot, as soon as you finish vacuuming or mopping, you might as well start again. By contrast, even minor home-improvement projects can deliver lasting satisfaction. Like many women, I’m no expert in naming all the doodads which make up a proper, manly workshop, but I’m still mechanically inclined and pretty handy with tools. A trip to a home-improvement warehouse promises long-term solutions to household problems. The warehouses also smell good — the lumber especially, though even the weird chemical smells in the lawn care section smell comfortingly of problem-solving. The warehouses’ high ceilings mean the background music is actually in the background for a change, and plenty of products on offer are pleasantly unclad: you see the items themselves, rather than a jarring welter of flashy packaging. These stores are peaceful places.

Member Post

 

I ask this question because the charming and delightful Member @titustechera was staying at Toad Hall for a few days and wrote an essay in which he mused, among many other things, on the issue of paying children for chores. While I acknowledge the essay subject might have been a composite, like Polly Perkins, I […]

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Member Post

 

I don’t know that any of us really enjoy household chores. There’s the routine and then there are projects. The former are the little things that have to get done once a week – or more – and the latter are those things that can disrupt your life for days. But if you’re anything like […]

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