Washing day in our household was not a one day event. It seemed like it was a never ending event. I am one that
Two Halves of a Lizard
demanded all the clothes turned right side and pockets of pants emptied. I hated to go into pockets and pull out the surprises inside. All money and secret treasures found in the washing machine when I was done belonged to me.
With 3 boys and 2 girls this always left me wondering if I ever put my hand in one of the pockets what would come out. My second daughter was little Miss Prissy that hated to get her hands dirty and would only wear fluffy dresses and black paten leather shoes around all the time. She had to have her hair in pony tails and her dolls just right.
My oldest son was more a reader, a loner, and would spend hours talking with the seniors on our block helping them out in their homes. You would always find him on Football and Baseball season watching the game with them. He could recite any baseball static there was on any player on any team.
My eldest daughter as you know was our Tom Boy and there was nothing she could not do. She was an excellent violin player, could draw anything she saw, loved roller skating, skateboarding, playing football, baseball, and skate hockey. She was our most active and the one we had to keep an eye on all the time. She was always coming in with black eyes and split lips from fighting with the neighbor boys when they picked on her two younger brothers. We finally called her “OH Sid” because of her free spirit. I think it was her Great Grandmother her named her this. She said it was from an old radio show she heard when she was a young girl.
My two youngest sons were typical boys and followed in their older sisters foot steps all the time. She would take such good care of them and made sure nothing happened. They were two typical boys who loved to fight with each other all the time.
Washing days always gave me many treasure and surprises. From nails, marbles, coloring crayons, doll shoes, hair clips to money in my machine. But not this day! It was not what I found it was what I did not find.
I am pulling the clothes out of the washing machine and getting them ready to hang on the line when I feel something squishy in my hand. I carefully put the clean laundry in my laundry cart to see what it could be.
To my shock and horror I find a half a lizard with his big glassy eyes sitting there in my hand staring at me.. First I am paralyzed, I can not move, I know better but I take a second look. I drop my clean clothes on the floor, the lizard goes with it, and I run to stand on the chair in our garage. I can not stand lizards, snakes, bugs, and cockroaches. Anything that crawls on the ground is not for me.
I am in the garage screaming wildly and standing on top of a chair. My children come running to the garage to see what the problem is. There are all gathered around the chair in a circle laughing at me on top of the chair screaming.
Finally I speak and said to them who put a lizard in my machine. I got the strangest looks from my two younger sons and thought oh now I know. It was my second to the youngest. He starts out laughing so hard and says Mom that is Oh Sid’s pet lizard George.
My eldest daughter is in tears and crying how could you kill George Mom? He was my friend. I had him in my pocket of my pants where he was safe and you would never find him and take him from me. At night he slept under my pillow and when I woke in the morning he was there for me.
She goes running over to the clean clothes and finds two halves of her lizard dead. She is crying so hard. She would not forgive me for killing her lizard.. She had to have my husband build her a wooden box and put the lizard inside of it. There she proceed to the back yard and make him a grave. She lined it with rocks and drew a big sign for this lizard’s grave. She called him George and on the sign she said “Poor George lost his life in some stupid old washing machine”.
It took me over one hour to decide to climb down off this chair and go back to the clothes that George was found in. I threw the clothes back into the washing machine and washed them five more time before I could bear to take them out and hang them on the clothes line in the back yard.
I proceeded to my daughter room and stripped her bed of all bedding and took everything to the garage. I had to wash her bedding four times before I was satisfied that the remains of George sleeping under her pillow each night were gone. I wanted to throw her pillow in the trash but my husband refused to let me do this one. He said “For God Sakes it is only a stupid Lizard”. To me it was more than a stupid lizard.
What was so upsetting is where she decided to burry this lizard. It was near the brick wall in our back yard right in front of my clothes line. Each time I had to hang up clothes in the back yard I was reminded of her lizard and how it was killed in my washing machine.