Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Visiting the laundry mat...

Our washing machine officially took it's last breath, mid cycle on Saturday.  Yes, yes, yes it did.  RIP sweet friend, you worked so hard for us! You were super dependable, super reliable, always willing to do our bidding...
Yet, I know, you felt like sometimes all you did was to spin around in circles. Please know, that we miss you terribly! ♥ ♥ ♥

So after attempting SEVERE CPR on our baby, we just couldn't revive him!  We grieved terribly!
However, we needed a new friend that we could introduce to our family.  So, after visiting several stores, we purchased a new one.  It will be delivered 1-1/2 weeks from now, WHAT?  That means only one thing...

A trip to the laundry mat.

Upon arriving the first thing I noticed was that even though there were about 6 patrons there, no one was looking at each other.  They all had the; "I'm in the same elevator as you, but I will pretend you are not here", look.  It was kind of creepy. 
The second thing I noticed was that they were projecting this; "I hate you clothes" look as they were either vigorously folding their clothes and shoving them into laundry bags/baskets, or just shoving the clothes into the laundry bags without folding them at all.

The only patron that was different was this elderly gentleman way on the other side of the laundry mat.  He lovingly was folding his clothes, making sure all the edges were aligned, and every so often he would use his hand to straighten out a small wrinkle.  He seemed to be enjoying this task so much, he was actually humming to himself.  

The other patrons had left one by one, and it was just the elderly gentleman and I left.  The curiosity was killing me, I had to ask!

So I approached him and asked; "You seem to be in fine spirits today sir, can you share your secret with me, because my washing mashing just bit the dust in mid cycle and I'm not a happy camper at the moment". 
He just looked at me for a moment and then he what he shared with me my friends, truly was a life touching moment!

The gentleman said; "Well young lady, it's a long story, but we both have about 21 minutes left".  At that point we both chuckled.  
He put the perfectly aligned sheets in the laundry basket as he continued...
"My wife died 3 years ago.  Our washer went over 7 yrs ago.  Our three kids live out of state, and we lost everything when the stock market crashed.  So we decided instead of charging like you kids do today, to just go to the laundry mat and wash our clothes till we could afford to buy another one.  We realized the first time out, that we never went out anymore, so we made it a ritual.  Every Sunday we would gather our clothes, and while the clothes were washing we got our quarters together for the dryer along with the dryer sheets.  Then once we placed the clothes in the dryer, we went over to the fast food place next door and shared a hamburger, fries and milkshake".  "We enjoyed watching toddlers as their mother's went to their cars to get their supplies or bottles.  We were privileged to meet so many people from so many walks of life, that even though we were able to buy another washing machine the following year, we chose not to, but to continue our Sunday ritual".
"So, even though my honey has passed, I continue the ritual without her, sometimes I can almost feel like she's here, so I hum our favorite song".  

At this point,  you so know I had tears in my eyes!  I was speechless.  "What can I say to this amazing man who so desperately missed his wife", I thought?  Nothing!  I decided on nothing...
Just a smile and the wiping the tears from my eyes. 

My laundry was done and my husband and daughter had come to pick me up.  I turned to the elderly gentleman as he was still folding his clothes and said; "Have a fantastic afternoon sir"!  He never responded.  He just continued to take his clothes out of the dryer.  

My daughter said to me; "that was rude mom".  To which I responded; "no, baby, not really"...

Till next time!

Dishin with Didi


  1. Awwww.... you made me tear up. What touching and wonderful story!

  2. Kecia my friend, not my normal post...
    However, this particular meeting, touched my heart! ♥

  3. Isn't it nice to find something pleasant about doing laundry….the man's story was indeed touching.

    1. It was my dear friend Karen, I was literally for once, speechless!! But also touched!