Every wife and mother knows the unending task of turning dirty laundry into clean, fresh clothing. When Andy and I were first married, our apartment building had a communal laundry room. The washer and dryer in our first home were located in the garage--often freezing cold in the Ohio winter. Our Denver houses had actual rooms for the washer and dryer, a distinct improvement. When we moved to Pennsylvania, our 50-year-old abode lacked this degree of convenience. The laundry was located in the dim, dark basement, so baskets of dirty clothes had to be carried to the family room, out one door to the garage and then through another that led to the basement steps, a massive pain. A later renovation gave us a mud room with room for the appliances and a double row of pegs for coats and jackets.
As the kids grew and I began a full-time job, laundry became a weekend task. Hip deep in clothing, towels, sheets and athletic gear, I often did more than 20 loads, leaving baskets for the kids to carry upstairs and put away (a constant battle). My offspring knew that the quickest way to enrage their mother was to include fold-marked clothing in with their dirty clothes. (I know, I know, they should have been doing their own laundry.) When our first dachshund, Scrapple, heard the dryer door squeak, he would race downstairs, leap on the couch and await the load of warm, fragrant laundry I would dump on him. When I got to the last item, he would be on his back, eyes closed in utter bliss.
When we moved to Texas, my daughter Hannah and her husband generously got us a Samsung washer/dryer pair with electronic controls for our laundry room. Upon completion of their cycles, the appliances play a tune taken from Franz Schubert's Piano Quintet in A Major, popularly known as The Trout. While some people seem to be annoyed by this musical interlude, I enjoy it. I bring the warm laundry to the family room to fold while I watch TV, and yes, I still dump it on our dachshund Toby, who revels in its warmth.
I'm Chris Barabasz, retired from a 35-year career managing communications for health care development (that's fundraising for you civilians). I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and freelance writer. My husband Andy and I moved from Delaware to Texas to be closer to our daughters and three adorable grandchildren.