July 14, 2012

Canada - Life and Laundry in Small Town, Canada -- Pamela Mytroen

The back door nearly flung out of my hand as I opened it and stepped inside. There on the washing machine, where I intended so set my purse, were two pair of neatly folded men’s jeans.

I did a double take and looked back out at the clothes line. How did my husband’s jeans end up here, so nicely folded? They had been on the line just an hour earlier when I went downtown.

“Honey? Um. Thanks for folding your jeans!” I grinned. Had he really taken them off the line?

“Huh?” he said, coming around the corner. “I didn’t fold those. They were there when I got home.”

“That's...strange. Nice, but strange."

We live in a small town so it’s not surprising when people just walk in without knocking or waltz in and drop something off if you’re not home.

But this was just a little different. To take your husband’s jeans off the line, fold them so carefully, and leave all the other clothes on the line? Did somebody have something going on for my hubby?

I peeked out the side window and saw my neighbor puttering around in her yard. Aha.

I walked to the fence, leaned on it, and asked, “Do you know anything about two pair of jeans that folded themselves?”

She gave me a sly grin and told me the story.

“You remember how windy it was this morning?”

“Yes. Our regular tornado weather.”

“Right. This morning when I came out to the garden,” she said, leaning on her hoe, “there was a pair of jeans draped over the garden chair. They were laying so neatly on that chair, just like somebody slipped them off and took time to arrange them properly. Well! I took one look at them and thought the worst!”

Her husband had just had surgery and was still on morphine for pain. She assumed that in his high state he had decided to strip down in the garden and really enjoy the summer weather. So Mary, my dear somewhat girthy neighbor, grabbed those jeans and went charging down the sidewalk, certain that she would find her jovial and high husband trotting down the sidewalk in his briefs. Running down one street and then back up the other, she came home exhausted and worried, thinking that he had likely made it all the way to the Li Wong Café to visit with all the regulars. She limped into the house to catch her breath.

“Hank? Ha-a-a-a-nk!” she had called. There was no answer. Before she called the Café, she decided to check upstairs.

And there was Hank, clothed and in his right mind. Well, almost right mind. He was sitting up in bed bidding at an invisible auction. But fully clothed.

Mary took one look at the jeans stretched over his lean frame and sighed a breath of relief. “You’ve got your jeans on.”

“Of course!” He looked at her oddly. “Nice bull, eh?" He pointed to the wall. "Should we bid on it?"

So where did these jeans come from? Mary wondered turning them over in her hand. She paused at the window and spotted another pair of jeans laying in her tulips.

That’s when my saintly neighbor finally took time for a good long chuckle, realizing that the gale-force wind had knocked those jeans off my clothes line, over the fence and into her garden, landing daintily on her garden chair. Giggling, she folded them and when I wasn’t home, she just walked on in and left them there for me.

And that’s life in small town Canada. Where your neighbor feels quite at home walking into your house, and spending some time in your laundry room.

And where you might see a gal running down the sidewalk waving a pair of jeans. “If you see Hank, could you send him home? Thanks. He’s naked.”

by Pamela Mytroen


  1. I love the humour and logistics in your story, Pam. I was chuckling as I read it. Small town, Canada is a good place to live. Maybe it's a well-kept secret.

  2. This is hilarious! And so well told (and I hope Hank's bid got the bull)!

  3. Too funny!
    At least it was just next door and a couple pairs of jeans. My mom phoned me to tell me she had a tree in her garden and had no idea where it came from.

  4. I really believe that the reason we can trust our neighbors (for the most part) in Canada is because of the influence of Christianity. Honesty is something we've taken for granted for decades. As Christian beliefs begin to erode, so will our safe neighborhoods. All the more reason to uphold the integrity of God's Word.

    Pam M.


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