Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Laundromat Fun

    An experience is what you make of it
Mommy truth: if the dryer is going to break, it's going to break when you are already behind on the laundry. Well, more behind than usual. Also, it will probably happen when your husband is out of town for work for a week. At least, that is what happened to us:-) My mother-in-law graciously dried a few loads for me, but not wanting to overwhelm her household with too much of our laundry I opted for a trip to the Laundromat today. 

The Laundry Crew
Now, this could go one of two ways: It could be miserable. Or it could be an “experience”.
An experience, in my mind, is something you do or something that happens to you that becomes a pleasant memory. It can go from being a “situation” to an “experience” to a happy memory. My parents were masters at this. A blow out in the middle of nowhere became a picnic under a shade tree. A vehicle that stopped working for mysterious reasons in a tiny town (in the middle of nowhere) became a visit to some interesting place we may have never seen otherwise. And a power outage-common in the rural area I grew up in (the middle of nowhere)- or a broken washing machine meant a trip to the Laundromat!

A trip to the laundry is not convenient, it’s just not. It could be a miserable experience- hauling all the clothes there, finding it is not necessarily the cleanest of places (despite the purpose of its existence), and the time involved to do it all. Washer to dryer to folding table & back to the vehicle- it takes a looooooong time. Yet, my memories of childhood trips to The Soap Opera Washateria are pleasant. I may not have called it “fun” at the time and I’m sure I did my share of making the trip more challenging, but I remember leaning up against the dryer and feeling comforted by the warmth. Peering through the glass, I would pick out one piece- a soak maybe- and try to watch it go around and around. There were always interesting people to observe and for some reason I got a lot of joy out of pushing the clothes cart around. 

Such Fun
There are of course various factors involved in turning a “situation” into an “experience” Some circumstances are more strenuous than others, the kiddo’s attitudes have an effect as well as other adults who may be involved, but I think a major deciding factor between misery vs. fun is…mommy. (I know, it kinda stinks to be responsible for even one more thing. But that’s mommyhood & we love it.) It’s our attitude that will, in large part, influence whether this is a fun family experience or something we all want to forget. It’s not such a big deal when we are feeling good and on our game. It’s another story on a day that was preceded by a night full of interruptions. Either way, it’s our choice: fun or fail? 

Today was a good day and we went for FUN! We managed to keep Petra out of the toilet (yes, that happened last time), baby Joseph was a trooper and we basically had the place to ourselves. We took turns putting in the quarters (wow, it takes a lot of quarters!), pouring in the soap, watching the clothes spin around, exploring this house built just for washers & dryers, making faces at the owner's little girl, pushing the stroller & carts around & playing tag in the [empty] parking lot. Everyone behaved pretty well.This is not always the case, but today it was and I’m so thankful. Thankful for washers and dryers as well. Very much looking forward to ours working again:-)

Oh, and as it turns out, you don't absolutely have to have dryer sheets for the clothes to get dry;-) 

A Good Way to Read

A Joyful Helper

More Helpers

Still Able to Nap Anywhere-Thankfully! (& yes, the socks are mismatched;-)

"...whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 
1 Corinthians 10:31


  1. Looks like you turned it into an awesome experience for your crew! I used to go to the laundromat (without the kids) as soon as we got home from Family Camp every summer. It beat having to dodge piles of stinky, damp, dirty clothes while doing a dozen, or more, loads of laundry.

    1. Thank you Beth! You are so encouraging!

  2. It's awesome again. You did make it fun for them.

  3. Way to go, Mary. I love your take on this!

  4. Lemonade from lemons they say - right? Great attitude. When I was teen long ago, my buddies and I would hang out at a laundromat occasionally.
    Our dryer stopped heating a few weeks ago. Watching youtube videos on dryer repair worked! I bought a new part and fixed it.

    1. Thank you, I think our dryer may be fixed too thanks to a good friend!


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