Just Another Day At The Laundromat

photo credit: http://www.hercampus.com

For Mothers Day,  I like to keep things simple. This year, the boys asked me what I wanted to do and I told them: “Landscaping the yard, an easy meal at home and watching Finding Nemo with you guys. ” I wanted the three of us together under one roof without one of us (usually me) falling asleep after twenty minutes.

Springtime up here is in full bloom and we own enough land that it takes a team to resurrect it after the winter has beaten it down. The grass grows long after about fifteen minutes and what isn’t grass looks downright barren and sad without some annuals planted here and there.  The tulips that  I planted 2 years ago in memory of my mother are a ray of sunshine at the top of the driveway but everything else needs trimming and chopping.

So Sunday seemed simple enough. First, I would  go on my 10+ run and my oldest would meet me for the last four miles. Then it was a shower, refueling ( aah a soy latte’!) and back outside. My youngest was to be in charge of mowing our vast expanse (he had repaired the rider and pusher so he was pumped) while my oldest and I raked out  a large area for new top soil and flowers. Laundry for my youngest was on the list as well. He figured he could easily get it going and done when he was mowing. Then we would chow down on burritos while enjoying the show.

Well, I should have known that when I woke up to rain that things would not go exactly as planned!  There are few exceptions that can stop me from lacing up my shoes (blizzards, serious downpours, hurricanes, extreme heat) so I  added  a layer to my skimpy sleeveless running top and headed out the door.  By mile two, I was quite dewy but not uncomfortable. The rain would abate and resume in an unpredictable fashion throughout the course.  I felt unusually pain free and relaxed until… mile 8.5, when my son and I stopped to look at some ducks in the marsh. When I started running again, my left knee locked up and I spent the last two miles shuffling up the hills and cursing the downhills.

By the time my shower was done,  the sun began to peek out from behind the clouds and we agreed to just delay the yard work until…my youngest son got a call from his boss asking him to come in for a meeting to plan for the week ahead ( he works in the trades and business was picking up after a temporary slow down). He had no choice but to go in. My oldest and I threw him a lifeline and said we would take care of his laundry while we cleaned up the basement.

So things were humming along;  3 loads later and the basement and  raking were just starting to look good until…. my oldest noticed that the t-shirts were still damp in the dryer . We added a few minutes to the cycle and then threw the Carhart pants in, pressed the button and..  the dryer dies! In truth, it had been on its way out for a few months. I don’t remember when the noise started in the machine but it sounded possessed!  We got to the point where we would push the button, cover our ears, dash to the door, shut it and run up the stairs. The sound cut right through you but the dryer still worked. I knew that I was on borrowed time but I wanted to put off the expense for a while longer. I was shelling out quite a few dollars on the home renovation and hoped the dryer would last until late June.

No such luck. It was late afternoon and the laundromats around here do not stay open late. The clothes had to get done because we all had long  work days on Monday waiting.  Besides, we ran out of topsoil and no flowers were going to get planted anyway. ( Oh, did I mention that my oldest is graduating from college on Saturday and we are having a party? No pressure to get things done at all-HA!).

So we loaded up my son’s truck with 4 baskets of heavy wet clothes and 2 big baskets of dirty items and headed out to the next town. We decided to go to the big place that we know about and pulled in the lot. We were about to park and get out until… we noticed that it was closed!  UGH!  But there was still hope.  We noticed another one two strip malls down right next to a fitness chain.  And it was open!  We quickly went inside and found ourselves in a pristine laundromat replete with 2 television screens-one broadcasting a PBS cooking show and the other a major league baseball game. It even had a leather couch and a huge and very clean bathroom.

My oldest and I are a well-oiled organization team. We always try to go the most efficient and least expensive route whenever possible no matter what the task.  We figured we would be in and out in about 80-90 minutes. We settled down on the comfy couch, put our feet up and started reading our book and magazine until… we realized we had no game plan for dinner now. And would we be able to watch the movie? And when would his brother get home?  A stop at the nearest grocery store solved the problem. We bought 3 Newman’s frozen pizzas, called my youngest to preheat the oven and headed back home with the cleaned goods and some sustenance.

At this point, it was 7pm. The movie went in and we inhaled the pizza. And before we knew it, it was time to settle in for the night. The irony of the day was not lost on my oldest. Here I was doing my 20 year old’s laundry on Mothers Day! (Both boys have been doing their own laundry since 2005).  It goes to show that even the simplest plans can go awry.

So here it is Tuesday and the lawn still needs to be done before Saturday and soil still needs to be purchased for the flowers.  Party supplies and groceries are on the to-do list. Never mind the filthy kitchen floor. Plus my dad  is due in on Friday.  But we have developed a Plan B and that should go well until…

4 thoughts on “Just Another Day At The Laundromat

  1. You’re not alone – I ended up doing laundry on Mother’s Day too – my dryer conked out on me a week ago by the way, but I’m sure that you guys will have an awesome party and it is truly a blessing to have your sons with you as they are. I certainly hope that my boys and I will still have a close relationship when they grow up. That was a great post!

    1. I am so grateful that the weather is nice enough that some of the clothes can be hung outside! Plus, it has been worse; years ago the septic tank was dying (to put it simply) allowing for only showers and toilet use and I spent the better part of a year going to the laundromat. I can’t believe your dryer died too!

      Today is a beautiful day for graduation and my dad is here. We are looking forward to making good memories!

  2. I enjoyed reading this so much! it sounds like the kind of day I would have! This past mother’s day I gave myself the gift of teaching my kids to do their own laundry. I guess now I should keep my fingers crossed we all don’t break it running the washer/dryer more often!

  3. Thanks for reading! Good luck teaching your sons. I did the same thing in February 2005.

    I took them to Walmart to buy their own hampers and then showed them how to work the machines in a safe and efficient manner. It has been great not being responsible for their clothes! They learned quickly about making sure that they had clean clothes for school and I never caved in and helped them. Believe it or not they never went out the door with dirty clothes!

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