Stacking up: a taste of my laundry

December 14th, 2009

I started at 8 a.m. this morning and finished the last load at 5 p.m. Today was laundry day; everyday could be laundry day. And at this dark hour, on this late day of this long year, some things are done but other things are not.

The holiday greetings did not get out. This will have to do.

In a few days we leave for a foggy stay at a nearby beach before coming home for Christmas and a breakfast of – naturally – banana pancakes. With that in mind, with you in mind, with everything done and undone still on my mind, I offer you this taste of my latest confection, the first audio excerpt of my new book, Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life. It may be something you’ve read before or heard me say before. Either way, I know in my bones on this chilly, silent night, in my holey socks and nubby sweater, with the dog asleep and the room aglow, just me telling you my homemade story amid the sounds of my house, that you will love it. My hope is that you will stir that love into your own holiday brunch, dinner, and every meal after. I’ll try to do the same.

The most we can do for one another is listen. You’ve already done everything for me, and more.

Happy holidays, friends, brothers and sisters, all. I love you.


  1. I can't wait to hear it!

    Comment by Swirly — December 14, 2009 @ 4:14 pm

  2. Beautiful.
    You have the most soothing voice ever. Can't wait to read your book!

    Comment by Carmen — December 14, 2009 @ 6:50 pm

  3. Thank you. My love has taught me the gift of taking time to cook, to prepare and savour meals with and for friends. It's a wisdom he brings to the garden as well and to the process of walking to work. He's a whisky-loving monk in disguise I suspect.

    Comment by Marianne — December 14, 2009 @ 7:16 pm

  4. you were here next to me, and i could see you peering through your blue/green reading glasses.

    thank you!

    Comment by Terri Fischer — December 14, 2009 @ 8:54 pm

  5. You sound just like I thought you would.

    Comment by She She — December 14, 2009 @ 9:19 pm

  6. Makes me think of what my mom told me (and what she first heard from her grandmother, my great-grandmother) …

    "You either love what you cook or love the ones you cook for."

    Looking forward to hearing more!

    Comment by Lana — December 14, 2009 @ 10:04 pm

  7. oh Karen, I hope this is not the last time you put up a recording like this. what a gift.

    I really liked the part about not arriving late at the one meal our life is serving us. And that all our flumoxing about doesn't insulate us from "the twin torments of inadequacy and inpermanance." Like a good, warm, soothing meal, I feel very comforted and love by this peace. Thank you, Karen.

    Comment by katiesmurphy — December 14, 2009 @ 11:26 pm

  8. I meant "piece" — "peace" was a typo. Or maybe not after all πŸ˜‰

    Comment by katiesmurphy — December 14, 2009 @ 11:26 pm

  9. More. More. More!!!!! more audio.

    Comment by Shawn — December 15, 2009 @ 1:35 am

  10. *smile* audio & video big part of my new year's new site. Let's see what new toys Santa brings first.

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — December 15, 2009 @ 2:13 am

  11. WooHoo! I look forward to the New Year and this new venture you speak of! It was a joy to hear you share some words of your new book. Thank you, Karen.

    I love you, too. Happy Holidays to all those living and loving on Cheerio Road!

    Comment by Cam — December 15, 2009 @ 3:29 am

  12. ah, i love that voice! thank you for this gift, mae.

    Comment by wendy — December 15, 2009 @ 12:22 pm

  13. thank you, thank you, thank you… for writing such wise and beautiful words (which i can't wait to read) and for recording this excerpt, the perfect piece of calm and serenity to remind me of what is important during this time of year.

    Comment by valerie — December 15, 2009 @ 5:17 pm

  14. A beautiful excerpt.

    Comment by DQ's Windmill — December 15, 2009 @ 6:11 pm

  15. How beautiful. Now I really can't wait for the book to come out. If there's an audio version planned, you should definitely be the one to read it.

    Comment by Janet — December 15, 2009 @ 8:32 pm

  16. While I plan to buy the new book, I hope there is also an audio. Thank you. Thank you for affirming my journey just when I needed a little boost.

    Comment by Kathleen Botsford — December 15, 2009 @ 8:45 pm

  17. thank you for this.

    Comment by irene — December 15, 2009 @ 9:39 pm

  18. Each morning I try mindfully to make my one special cup of coffee and small piece of toast, and indulge for a moment to read my fav blogs .. especially yours. You have filled my mornings with amazingly deep and insightful wisdom .. I see the world differently having 'met' you (and now) heard you .. I eagerly await your book. Wishing you a merry festive season, sublime pancakes and please do continue to share your wondeful view of the world. 102 fahrenheit in Aust. today we experience quite a different festive season.

    Comment by the meditator — December 16, 2009 @ 12:37 am

  19. Thank you. I've been putting off listening until I had time to really pay attention. I was not disappointed.

    Comment by Nova Bradfield — December 16, 2009 @ 4:02 am

  20. LOVE this! xo

    Comment by Elissa — December 16, 2009 @ 4:14 pm

  21. Oh Karen, if ever you decide to do a Mother's plunge in Florida I will be there in a heartbeat.

    It was truly a joy to hear you speak part of your book. I will be ordering this one when it comes out.

    Comment by Jodi — December 16, 2009 @ 4:16 pm

  22. Wonderful Karen! So good to hear your voice. You were made for this.

    Comment by Shalet — December 18, 2009 @ 4:08 am

  23. You make me want to break out the bowls, pans & ingredients and create some wonderfully imperminent, possibly delicious, creation to share. That part I can enjoy. The cleaning up … still working on it, but that's the point, isn't it.

    Comment by Donna — December 19, 2009 @ 12:08 pm

  24. Your words and voice bring me peace today, and are so very timely after spending several hours in the kitchen this weekend, practicing a special holiday recipe handed to me by my mother.

    Thank you.

    Warm wishes to you and your family,

    ps – I do hope you continue to post audio excerpts. Your voice is magically soothing.

    Comment by Steph — December 21, 2009 @ 5:42 pm

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