A Freshly Made Bed

September has arrived and with it comes a brand new Doodlewash Adventure! This month we’re exploring all of the simple pleasures in life that people rank highest on their happiness meters for eliciting the most smiles. First up, we have a freshly made bed, which usually means crisp clean sheets that you can snuggle into while enjoying the fresh smell of whatever detergent you use. At my house, this perfect event is shortly followed up by a little basenji remaking the bed into whatever form makes him the most comfortable. Usually, this involves lots of fiddling with covers and dismantling every crisp crease until it looks like a bed that needs to be made again. He then snuggles in and just stares at you with a look that says, “Yeah, you did it wrong. This is the correct way. You’re welcome.” He seems so perfectly comfortable and content, that for just a moment, I wonder if perhaps he might be right. Maybe a mess of sheets and covers and a little tent you can burrow under would indeed be a bit more fun. 

I have to admit though, in our house, we’re not very good when it comes to making the bed each and every day. A friend of mine insists on making the bed daily, claiming that an unmade bed looks like a “sick bed.” One that you apparently just stumbled out of for a moment before planning to return for the entire day in hopes that your fever will go down. I totally get it, and appreciate the look of a perfectly made bed, but in the end, it still fails to happen regularly. I’m much more like Phineas than I realize. Jumping into bed and grabbing covers, wherever they landed last, and just raking them up over me in a careless fashion that simply feels good in that moment. Even as the clean sheets are placed on the bed each week, my bed-making skills leave much to be desired. The end result looks less like a 5-star hotel and more like a Motel 6 that was short on staff that day. For me, I just appreciate the clean sheets, and I’ll happily leave the surgical folds to those more qualified.

I’m not sure why, but domesticity is not something that I have in spades, and days can go by with clutter building up around me. I’ve known this issue forever, so I’ve always budgeted a bi-weekly house keeper into every place I’ve ever owned. This forces me to clear the clutter in anticipation of her arrival and provides a house that’s generally clean most of the time. I shudder to think what it would be like if I’d gotten the more expensive houses and opted out of this wonderful service. I imagine I’d be featured on the next episode of Hoarders, buried under an accumulation of things that I failed to remember were there, only with less cats. But there’s always a happy medium to be found. I don’t really want to live in a place that feels unlived in.  I think it’s perfectly okay to have a bit of clutter here and there, as long as it doesn’t build up into a crazy mountain of senility. And in the evening, I’ll sleep on sheets that are clean but never ironed, spread across a mattress in a happily carefree way. Each person has their own path to happiness, and indeed, their own perfectly wonderful vision of what constitutes a freshly made bed.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Terra Cotta, Burnt Sienna, and Ultramarine Blue.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
 #WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 1 - A Freshly Made Bed - Basenji - Doodlewash

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!

Recommended8 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
39 Comments
  1. June Hadaway 3 months ago

    You really brought some smiles, even laughter with this story and painting. This is the cutest picture of your precious dog. I could just imagine him lifting the sheets and burying himself in them.

  2. Susan Cuss 3 months ago

    Seeing your Phineas all comfy and cozy in the freshly made bed made me laugh! I like my sheets and blankets a little bunched up myself. Wish my partner felt the same………lol.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Susan! 😃💕 hehe… yay to bunched up blankets!! Way more comfortable that way! lol

  3. Mary Beth McDonough 3 months ago

    This brought back memories when I was a kid. My mom hung the sheets out on the line to dry and then probably ironed them, too. That aroma of the fresh air and crisp sheets was wonderful. Now it is washer, dryer and back on the bed which does not give that same crisp fresh air experience.
    That is a very cute little dog, love that expression in his eye.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary Beth! 😃💕 What a wonderful memory!! I remember sheets like that… a totally different experience. So much better!!

  4. Sandra Strait 3 months ago

    Makes me think of my two Old English Mastiffs. They’d wait eagerly until you told them it was okay to get on the bed, and then snuggle around until the sheets were all rumpled.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      hehe…. awww that’s sounds cute! I can totally picture it! 😃💕

  5. Jacob 3 months ago

    Haha, eeee! How adorable! Fresh bedclothes are a definite pleasure, and I think Phineas has the right idea – the best bit is diving in and messing them up again!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      hehe! Thanks, Jacob! 😃💕 yeah, I think he has the right idea after all. It’s way more enjoyable that way for sure! lol

  6. Lisa 3 months ago

    This is my favorite of all the essays of yours that I have read! It is charming and funny and true to my life too. Right down to cleaning for the house keeper. And really, who has time to make the bed every day? Not I !

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Aww thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 What a wonderful compliment. I’m so happy you enjoyed this one!!

  7. Jill Kuhn 3 months ago

    Love you painting of your sweet dog, Charlie! ❤️ Animals always seem to know the best places to sleep. My cat likes to sleep on my pillow and sometimes he takes over the whole thing! Lol! 😸

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Jill! 😃💕 Phineas would approve of your cat! hehe… yeah, he has another spot that we call his pillow nest. He’ll gather up all the pillows in a circle and then plop down in the middle like he’s making a fort! Lol

  8. Sharon Nolfi 3 months ago

    I want to cuddle Phineas!

  9. Sandra Gilbert 3 months ago

    Phineas cracks me up, he reminds me of my husband’s dog who does the same thing every time you make the bed. I happy I’m not the only one with a dog that unmakes the bed as soon as you get finished.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Yeah, me too! 😃💕 It’s sometimes a pain, but he just looks so darn comfortable that you can’t be mad at him! hehe

  10. Terri Bate 3 months ago

    Oh SNAP! Dogs burrowing in freshly made beds happens ALL over the WORLD methinks – love your pic.

  11. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 months ago

    I was happily reading through this post, laughing much of the way, until I got to the part about ironing sheets! Wait – you IRON SHEETS? I no longer iron anything. I have a closet full of hangers – they are my iron.

    And BTW, when I saw this post come up on my email, I read the title really fast and was expecting something about freshly made BREAD. So now I’m really disappointed – no bread, and the sheets were ironed.

    Phineas, you gotta work harder on these guys to teach them what’s really important in life – crumply sheets and bread slathered with butter!

    You’re welcome!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Shari! 😃💕 haha!! No worries, you can come back on the 12th for the fresh bread post! 😉 And I’ve never ironed a sheet in my life, I was just referencing that it a thing that happens for some. lol

  12. Richard Eric Disney 3 months ago

    I LOVE your words–you have a unique gift of making the seemingly ordinary seem, well, EXTRAordinary! 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Aww that’s so incredibly sweet of you to say, Eric!! Thank you so much!!! 😃💕

  13. Thomas Blanchard 3 months ago

    You know my brain read “Freshly made bread” instead of bed 🤣 I’m totally a foodie and not a great housekeeper. A made bed most days for me is the comforter pulled up! My lil Brie loves making a “nest” with the covers if she is not able to get under them. I don’t know how she breathes but she burried under the covers whenever possible. Phineas looks cozy … almost like a loaf of bread. LOL 🤡

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Lol… I should look to see if images of bread showed up for this one! Hope not, as it’s coming on the 12th! And Brie sounds adorable! 😃💕Phineas is the same with the burrowing. Loves to be completely covered!

  14. Kate Powell 3 months ago

    As I rarely get to stay in bed, an unmade bed invites return. We use a duvet, and I like the bed messy and kinda unamde as it looks like I might get to sneak back in! I also love clean sheets tho!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      hehe!! Love that description, Kate! 😃💕 Perfectly stated!! I totally agree!!

  15. Kate Powell 3 months ago

    oooh, one more thing… the cats have a ritual they do with the bedclothes when its made… “helper cas” who of course are not but they like to think so….

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      LOL… I love that concept. Those helper cats are sure they are doing things just as they should be done! 😉

  16. Treadtyred 3 months ago

    Your picture of Phineas makes my heart ache.
    The look in the eyes, the sheets. Everything sparks memories of our first dog, Honey.
    She also loved a freshly made bed.
    Extremely loving but feisty at the same time.
    She would sleep under my sons crepe and protect him. Strangers we’re not allowed!
    My son is off to University in around a week. Shame his little bodyguard is not around anymore. I think my wife would feel better if she were.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Aww that’s such a sweet memory!! 😃💕 I’m sure Honey is still there in spirit, making sure that everything is going just as it should!

  17. Yvonne Reeder 3 months ago

    I somehow missed this blog post – I think it was papa’s birthday (my dearest hubs) so I’m to be excused. Well I’m old and miss a lot of stuff, anyway! lol

    I always said that “a house should be clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy”! ❤️

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Aww no worries, thanks so much, Von! 😃💕 And what a great viewpoint! I totally agree!!

  18. […] bread served with cheese is a perfectly wonderful thing indeed. Many mistook the first prompt of freshly made bed for this one, so note to self, make prompts more mutually exclusive. While fresh bread is indeed a […]

  19. MySleepyFerret 2 months ago

    >The end result looks less like a 5-star hotel and more like a Motel 6 that was short on staff that day.

    I get the feels. Sometimes, you have to wreck havoc – all part of life’s fun. I have had moments where I make my bed, then roll around and destroy it simply because it’s fun and that I can.

    I think clutter is one of those inevitable things. Despite efforts to stay de-cluttered and slightly organized, it seems natural that we make a mess because our minds have honed in on a particular goal for the moment.

    And yes, please no pile of senile mess! I think everyone deserves a little clean table, clean floor eye candy every once in a while. 🙂

    – SleepyBrian

  20. Elizabeth Metz 1 month ago

    HA! I have the same “Hoarders” fear. (But, truth be told, watching one episode of that usually spurs on some kind of epic housecleaning where no dust bunny is safe, just from the horror onscreen.)

    Also, I envy that you’re able to even make the bed in the first place before the basenji re-do. Bella hears me go in the bedroom and immediately jumps onto the very middle of the bed. I could still make it, sure. But it’d look like there’s some kind of goiter in the middle, and the minute she moves, all of that’s undone. 😀

    Since it’s getting cold here now, though…freshly-washed FLANNEL sheets. OMG. This is a new pleasure for me; we just got a set by accident (thought they were regular sheets, but…oops.), and they’re so soft and cuddly in this early fall chill that I’m anticipating a cozy ol’ winter, for sure.

    Yum. Simple pleasure, indeed.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      haha!! Flannel is awesome! But I run warm… always burning up, so I tend to kick all of the sheets off before the night is over! 😊

  21. Elizabeth Metz 1 month ago

    I have the Temperature Regulation Leg(tm). If I get warm, it’s on top of the covers. If I’m cold, it’s covered up.

    That sounds much less weird in practice than in explanation.

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