powerful dawn

Homemade shampoo apparently doesn’t work out well for me. I found a recipe online that involved mostly avocado pits and because I’m the world’s most frugal person, made it straight away. I loved the shampoo and really enjoyed that it made my usually thin hair pretty thick and non-frizzy. Except that then my head started itching.

I didn’t think much about it until a few days ago when it really started itching. Itching so much that I checked our bed for bed bugs and combed through my hair to look for lice.I hope you’re not snacking as you read this.

Two days ago I almost pulled my hair out because my scalp was itching so badly, and yesterday I went to Preacher Man and tearfully said, “I know this is gross, but my head itches so much it hurts. Can you look at my scalp and see if you can tell what’s wrong?” He very sweetly combed through my luxuriously thick hair to find that I had several spots of blisters on my head. It would appear that I’ve had an itchy, gross reaction to my homemade shampoo. The avocado shampoo has since been tossed and replaced with expensive, specialty weirdo-itchies shampoo. So much for saving money.

I discovered the second negative effect of homemade shampoo last week when I attempted to clean our shower. It turns out that the shampoo leaves a semi-permanent red colored ring where it sits in the shower. I used every tool, cleaning product, and scrub brush in my Homemaker Arsenal, but to no avail. In a stroke of absolute genius, I remembered every Hippie Mom’s secret weapon – blue Dawn. That stuff can get the stains out of cloth diapers and wash latex paint clean off a person’s hands – all without being toxic. With an excited, “Ah ha ha!” I marched off to search for our blue Dawn. When I opened the cabinet under our kitchen sink, what I saw stopped my heart for a moment:



I mean sure, this bottle looks innocent enough. However, the last time I saw this particular bottle of blue Dawn was in North Carolina. Several friends came over to help us paint some walls while Preacher Man was out of town. When I saw this soap, my mind was so overwhelmingly flooded with a memory that it was almost like I was standing in our NC kitchen again. I could see Katie rinsing out the brushes with this particular bottle as I brought them to her. I could hear her voice talking to me about her future after her current job, and I could feel the wet paint on my hands and arms. I could hear Kayla and Brandon playing with Bear in the living room, and I could feel the sense of bittersweetness in my heart even at that moment. I could smell the pizza we’d ordered, and I could even feel the kitchen tile under my feet.

I closed my eyes and let myself really remember that moment – those people, those laughs, that house. I took a deep breath, and when I opened my eyes…they were gone. I wanted so badly to bring them back. I even closed my eyes again hoping that at least the memory – the sense of being there – would come back. It didn’t.

We’re doing really well in Texas. I’ve made friends – good, healthy friends – faster than I ever have in my life. I’m enjoying doing ministry with Preacher Man, and our family is in a really healthy place in many different ways. We’re happy in Texas, and certainly plan on being here for a good, long while. But it seems like the literal heartache of leaving so many relationships behind sneaks up on me. It seems like when I least expect it, a bottle of blue Dawn smacks me in the face and leaves my arms aching to hug friends across the country. I knew I would miss people, but I didn’t expect to find myself tearing up at memories five months after we left, and I certainly underestimated the strength with which I long to see them again. In case you’re wondering – Dawn did the trick in getting that stain off of the shower.

That, my friends, is some seriously powerful soap.



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