I wrote this piece on February 2, 2013, on a blog that no longer exists. Shawn and I received a brand new washer and dryer as a gift from his mother. It surprised me how much having access to a washer and dryer changed our lives.
I read “How a Washer and Dryer Changed Our Lives” in episode 063 of my Words of Jen podcast.
Shawn’s mom was kind enough to buy us a brand new washer and dryer for Christmas. By “new”, I mean “purchased right from the store”. I don’t mean “replacements for our old ones” because there were no “old ones” to replace. This is the first time that Shawn and I have owned a washing machine and a dryer in our lives.
Owning a washer and dryer changed our lives in ways that we did not anticipate.
* No more weekly trips to the bank to purchase the roll of quarters we used to need to spend on the machines in the mobile home park “laundry hut”. Each roll cost $10.00. Obviously, this required us to have $10.00 on hand each time we needed to do laundry. That probably sounds easier than it actually was (especially since freelance writing can come with an erratic pay schedule at times).
* Shawn no longer has to lug the laundry down to the “laundry hut”, and then return to put it into the dryer, and then return again to lug it all back home.
* I no longer have to worry about what strange people he might encounter during these trips, or that a car will come around the corner and run him over. This was more of a worry at night, as Shawn tends to wear all black fairly often and drivers may not see him.
* No more having to pick and choose which items get washed this week and which could wait until next week, (when we would be able to get more quarters). Now, everything that requires washing gets washed as needed.
* No more being frustrated when the washing machines, or dryers, in the “laundry hut” would eat the quarters that Shawn fed them, and then refuse to do their jobs. No more having to decide if it is better to file a claim with the company that supplies the machines, or to simply give up on ever getting back those stolen quarters.
* No more unhappy surprises when a trip to the “laundry hut” revealed that the company that owned the machines had raised the rates since the last time we tried to do laundry.
* No more wondering just how expensive one load of laundry would cost next month, next year, or for the years that followed. No more worries that there would come a day when the company that supplied the machines would end their contract with the mobile home park and remove them (leaving us to have to use a laundromat that was farther away from home).
* Zero chance of having items from our laundry stolen as they were washing or drying. We never had something go missing (except for the occasional sock). However, as we live near a homeless shelter, there was always the potential for someone to decide to help themselves to our clothing. No one is going to break in to steal a load of laundry from our new washer and dryer.
* Things that take a long time to dry can go for another cycle through our dryer – no extra quarters required. Previous to this, we had been resorting to hanging up all the clothes that did not dry all the way on hangers across the bar for the shower curtain (sometimes in both bathrooms).
* No more need to drape the bath mats over the railing on the back porch, in the hopes that they will finish drying. Also, no more need to be on the lookout for the various spiders and other insects that decided to hitch a ride inside on the bath mats.
* I no longer have to worry that the person who used the washing machine before we did used a laundry soap that I am severely allergic to. This was always a gamble. I don’t have to worry about having freshly washed clothing cause me to break out in hives anymore. We have complete control over exactly what kind of laundry soap goes into our washing machine. We also can be certain that no floral scented dryer sheets are used in our dryer.
* There is something about having our very own washing machine and dryer that makes the place we live in feel more like a home and less like a college dorm. I’m not sure how to explain that any better, other than to say it now feels like we are now living like grown-ups are supposed to.
* The sounds that the washing machine and dryer make are quite soothing (once I got used to how they were supposed to sound). Unexpectedly, the sounds create a very calm, homelike, environment. It is nice to listen to while I am working on a batch of writing assignments.
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