Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com.


Washing machine blues

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

In our house, chores arenít divided so evenly. Gideon does all the cooking, pet care, vacuuming and sweeping. I help clean the kitchen once or twice a week, but my main duties are grocery shopping, budgeting and laundry. Iíll mop the floor if it gets really nasty ó thatís a big if.

Lots of people complain about doing the laundry. Iíve seen some folks refer to it as their least favorite household chore. In fact, someone recently posted a poll in one of my Facebook groups asking if itís worth it to pay someone to do your laundry. I couldnít believe it. Iím not exactly a domestic goddess, but I love doing the laundry.

Thereís something about separating the whites, colors, towels and sheets that feels so satisfying. I set aside one day a week to do all the laundry, and it gets done in record time. Thatís because I time each load, fold and put things away immediately after theyíre dry and start the next load as soon as possible. I love smelling clean shirts and towels. I have a specific way of folding each piece of laundry so it looks pretty close to perfect in our drawers and linen closets.

Even with this very regimented process, I didnít realize how passionate I am about the laundry until our washing machine started giving me trouble last week. It wasnít too bad at first ó some of the clothes were a little wetter than normal, but I shrugged it off and tossed them in the dryer. Then I noticed a big blue stain on one of Gideonís white undershirts. It was the laundry detergent.

I got creative and manually set the washer to spin and rinse. It worked! When Gideon got home, I told him about the trouble with the washer. He started looking into the problem while I continued to finish our laundry manually. On Sunday, he took the washer apart to flip a switch. If he could find that switch, he said, the washer should be fixed. Well, he couldnít find it. I finished another load of laundry manually and began researching how much a new washing machine would set us back.

Iíve always wanted a front-load washer and it definitely wouldnít hurt our bank account to purchase one. But scrolling through all these new, bright and shiny washing machines, I felt a little sad. That washing machine was the first appliance we ever owned together. We got it in 2015 after six months of using the local laundromat. It felt so good to own such a large appliance. It felt like we were really starting to build a home together.

I vividly remember the first load of laundry I ran in that washing machine. Not only did it produce clean clothes, completely free of that laundromat stench ó it produced a feeling of contentedness I hadnít experienced before.

Nearly six years later, we have acquired many more appliances, kitty cats, furniture and even a two-level house of our own. Weíll replace the washing machine soon, the same way we replaced our old couch, chairs and coffee table. Before long, we wonít have very many remnants of our old life. The way our life together began will become a mere memory.

Luckily, a memory is one thing you can never replace.