Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Recyclable Grocery Bags

Last week Jerry read an article on how germy recyclable bags are.  According to him, leafy greens are just awash in e-coli and the little bugs hop onto the inside of my bags, clinging there forever and ever, amen.  Then, when I least expect it, they crawl out, hop on a piece of unsuspecting produce, ride up to the counter, hop onto the closest dinner plate and ultimately end up getting eaten by me.    

It's taken me a lifetime - or at least a decade - to get my husband on board with the concept of taking bags into the grocery store.  My first thought was we might backslide because of Jerry's new-found knowledge.  That was not the case.  Yesterday Jerry resolved the problem when he announced that he'd washed the three bags that we keep in his car.  He was clearly proud of himself so to underscore his accomplishment and to keep the ball rolling in the proper direction, I said I'd wash the rest of our bags tomorrow. 

Tomorrow is now today and I wonder what I could have been thinking?  Like most moms, I am intimately acquainted with the view from atop Mount Washmore but that doesn't mean I enjoy the climb.  For me, most of the laundry drama followed the kids out the door when they left for college.  I kind of like it that way.  

I collected all my grocery bags from the car, from the kitchen and from the closets.  I sorted them into which ones I thought could be machine washed and those that needed hand-laundering.  There were about a dozen that I threw into the washer and another ten that I needed to be more gentle with so I washed them in the sink.  It was more difficult than I'd imagined and my kitchen and I were both covered with bubbles and water when I finished and took the bags outside to dry.

At first I hung them in the sunshine over the railing on our front porch.  As I was cleaning up the kitchen, I realized that the railing they were draped over was bare treated lumber.  That didn't sound so healthy so I moved them to the back and hung the clean bags all over the deck chairs.  Luckily we face the woods, so nobody could see the hillbilly mess it made.

Every fifteen minutes or so, I am going outside and turning the bags.  I move the chairs down the deck as the sun travels across the sky.  Some bags dried fast, others are taking a bit longer but I do feel some satisfaction that I am wrapping up this job.

I'm happy to have this task (nearly) completed.  Now all I have to do is ask myself this one question.  Why does someone who professes to want to live a simple, uncluttered lifestyle even own over TWO DOZEN reusable grocery bags?      

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