I now have what’s called a “Saba Washer,” or, as I like to call it, a fancy gallon bucket. This might seem “cute” and maybe even a little romantic if your idyllic island existence comprises of you and possibly your partner. I, however, am five humans deep in soiled belongings, and I pine for the days of loading up a sleek behemoth of porcelain and technology, selecting a cycle, pressing a button, and walking away. I no longer have hours of productivity WHILE my clothes are being washed. I am intimately involved with each step of the process now: soaking, dunking, rinsing, wringing, and hanging. I do have a small window of time between the agitation of my clothes and the preparation of the softener/rinse cycle in which I peacefully survey my land, have a quick existential chat with the iguana hiding in the grass, and attempt to ignore the Saba anole lizards mating on my stone wall. Other laundry-related responsibilities include cleaning bird turds off the machinery and detergents and supervising a toddler who enjoys splashing in the runoff and “helping” by cleaning filthy walls and windows with the rags I just washed.

Yep, laundry day is awesome.

After the spin cycle, I commence meticulously pinning up each item to achieve maximum sunshine exposure, being careful to avoid the spiders that have taken up residence on my wooden clothes pins. I usually succeed, but today was different. Not being up to date in my local arachnid entomology, I struggle to differentiate between friend or foe. So when a brown recluse-ish looking bad boy jumped on my hand, I retreated at lightning speed nary aware of the concrete corner of the wall keeping my yard under control. My fingers slammed against the edge, and I immediately started screaming F***!!!! at the top of my lungs, never mind my 10 month old twins snoozing away on the other side of the window who don’t yet know that Mommy sometimes says this word, like when her fingers get smashed to smithereens. Meanwhile, I heard a thunk and the cry of my daughter who had just slipped in the water and clunked her head on the tile patio. I tried to calm down and tell her it was ok, but oh my goodness MY FINGERS!!!! I couldn’t decide what my next move should be: Do I help her up first or put my skin back in place? Will the blood scare her too much? What if she has a concussion?! One of my fingers is definitely broken…

She then rolled over, and I picked her up, trying to keep my fingers away from her view. I took her inside, got her settled on the couch with her blanket and lambie, and kept concussion watch on her while I cleaned and dressed my wounds. It was not how I saw my morning going, and I was only half way done… I need a drink…actually, that might make it worse…Or would it?

I slapped a princess bandaid on the finger that was still bleeding and got back to pinning, now nursing bludgeoned appendages. It really couldn’t get worse. Or so I thought. Then, just like that, my beautiful expanse of sunshine dissolved into rain clouds, soaking all of my clean clothes lovingly hung up to dry.

Beyond anger at this point, and feeling more defeated than anything else, I wondered how I would be able to load up my three kids into the car this afternoon to pick up my daughter from DayCare, and if I left the remaining clothes in the spin cycle, would they get irreparably moldy, and how would I be able to chop ONLY vegetables for the dinner stew with three of my fingers out of commission. Sigh.

Mothering on a tiny, vertical island is hard.

My fingers were unnaturally straight, swollen, and immovable for two weeks after my laundry incident. At least my daughter was fine.

All I want is a real washing machine and a dryer, any dryer, INSIDE my house, because sunshine is not a deciding factor in little ones blowing through nine outfits and barfing on sheets, blankets, and stuffed animals. Oi vey.

Island girl problems, right?

What’s the laundry lifestyle like on your rock?

Written By:

Current Rock of Residence:

Saba, Dutch Caribbean

Island Girl Since:

June 2015

Originally Hails From:

San Antonio, Texas, USA

Kelsi Folsom was born singing, much to the chagrin of her parents. After indulging in everything from jazz to rap to 80s power ballads, she took her set of lungs to Anderson University to get “properly” trained. She has spent the majority of her operatic career cross-dressing, as most mezzo-sopranos do. She unexpectedly fell in love with a Maui boy shortly after graduation and temporarily traded in her audition heels for marriage and motherhood. Although the latter has made pursuing music a bit more difficult, she seizes whatever opportunities come her way like traveling to Guatemala six months pregnant with her daughter to do lead vocals with the Metro Big Band Jazz Orchestra, singing at church, and recording her first and only single a month before delivering said daughter. Her most recent performance was with Maui Onstage in their 2016 production of Guys and Dolls on her former rock of residence, Maui, HI, once again cross-dressing as a Crapshooter. Little did she know, the reason she felt like throwing up before each performance was because she was dancing around the stage pregnant with twins. 

Now a mom to three: a 2-year old daughter and 9 month old “miracle” twin boys, Kelsi currently makes her home on Saba, Dutch Caribbean where her husband attends medical school. She loves being an Island Mama, but could do without all the bugs/insects, and could do with a few more beaches on her particular rock. When she is not putting on her best “Cherubino” while changing dirty diapers, you can find her picking mangoes, *gasp* reading, making donuts with a toddler, swimming in the ocean, creating her own mixed drinks, enjoying a nap, or trying to make sense of her life over french press. She blogs at Shameless Beauty and her writing has been featured on Red Tent Living. She is still trying to get the hang of nomadic nesting, but is loving all the adventures that come alongside globetrotting with an ever expanding family. She is wondering at the odds of starting an opera company on Saba or at the very least, a club. Or maybe she will form an opera-calypso fusion band…

Here’s to dreaming big, island hopping, laughing a lot, and discovering all the beauty wrapped up in the world.

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