The Chaplain’s Corner: It All Comes Out in the Wash

Jumbo jellyfish, plump and pink, floated side by side, weaving squirmy tentacles into a wavy blanket that reached from the shore thirty feet into Long Island Sound. Upon arriving at the beach, heavy-laden with beach chairs, towels, cooler, beach balls and sandcastle-making stuff, we were seriously disappointed. These creepy creatures had floated in with the tide and were not leaving anytime soon. Absolutely no swimming on this vacation day!

What to do now? Our family had rented a cottage close to the beach for two weeks. So spending long summer days squishing our toes in the sand and splashing around in the refreshing Connecticut waters was our “Plan A.” Many decades ago, when I was eight or nine years old, there were no such things as malls, adventure parks, indoor pools, or any other such places for kids to play. Consequently, “Plan B” was quite basic. My mother took my siblings and me to the laundromat.

Now, one would understandably not envision this “Plan B” to be anywhere near good. But, our excursion to this Westbrook, Connecticut, laundromat turned out to be quite memorable. In fact, forever after, when I drove through Westbrook, the remembrance of the town’s laundromat filled my heart.

It just so happened, my mother stayed at the laundromat only long enough to stuff a couple of washers full up, add detergent and fill their slots with the necessary change. Then, Mama Bear went to the small grocery store a few doors down, while the three baby bears stayed at the laundromat for the show. I lived in a simpler time, so watching clothes spinning round and round was considered entertainment.

However, the real show started when all of a sudden, clumps of foamy white suds began oozing out of the lids of the washers. Before long, the washers became volcanoes, with foaming suds erupting from their tops, flowing lava-like down their fronts and sides. The laundromat’s old tile floor was soon buried in three-foot-tall soap clouds, reaching to the front door. And Mama Bear was nowhere in sight!

My memory fails me as to which baby bear ran their little legs over to the grocery store to collect Mama Bear. However, I do remember my mother being shocked and stunned to see the mass of billowing soap overtaking the small laundromat, while we laughed hysterically.

Our “Plan B” on that summer vacation day delightfully surpassed our original plan, and I learned a valuable lesson from that sudsy scenario: “It’s best to be flexible with plans, and most importantly, expect only good things to happen when they need to be unexpectedly changed.”

This coronavirus pandemic has involved a plethora of Plan B’s. So far, how many of your typical lifestyle plans have you creatively revised for the safety of others and yourself? Officials in our area announced the cancellation of long-running annual celebrations and other popular summer events.

It’s important for our emotional health to acknowledge this sad and disappointing news … and then boldly move on to unique Plan B’s. Covid-19, despite your shenanigans, we will have a memorable summer–and when we return to our favorite events in the summer of 2021, they’re gonna be better than ever! Now go away, Covid-19!

With blessings and peace,

Rodican Rose Bonn
Chaplain

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