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It All Comes Out in the Wash

Today I want to play in the laundry room. It’s actually a laundry “closet” but beggars can’t be choosers.

In our other home, I had a full size laundry room with tabletop space, drying racks, hangers, hampers, and bins for each family members’ clean clothing. Now we own a tiny walkway between the garage and the house that two people literally can’t pass through at the same time. If I open the dryer to remove clothes, I have to lock the incoming doors so no one will inadvertently destroy the place.

It’s dark, claustrophobic, and not even spiders will live there.

Naturally I take this as a challenge.

Dirty laundry goes into the large sink next to the washer, and clean clothes sit in the tiny shelf in the corner. This means I do a load every day to prevent the tottering mountain of smelly wardrobe bits from landing on the floor and being trampled through.

It’s hard having a freeway run through this dicey corner of town, and worse when you have to pass by the fumes rising from the dump there. You can just hold your breath as you dash through. But your eyes may water a little.

My only real concern is trying to pull the machines out from the wall to get the lint and sock balls collecting behind them. There’s nowhere to pull them out to.

I really want to clean out the lint from my dryer; not necessarily because house fires occur when you don’t keep those vents cleared, but because I’m afraid there’ll be a drive-by shooting during the 45 minute cycle.

Let me explain.

The last time I cleaned out the dryer I used the vacuum attachment in every orifice I could reach. I still felt there was something else in there though, and eventually removed the entire back panels and really rooted around with my hands.  (Please don’t forget to unplug the dryer first. Mine was gas, so I also turned the connecting gas valve to “off”. Safety first!)

I scooped out an entire Lego set, 83 cents in change, bits of a ball point pen, and a bullet.

Not a shell. A bullet.

This matters because we have never had a gun and live in the subs where hunting is not a normal afternoon activity.

Are you telling me a bullet won’t go off if it’s pinging around in a hot metal machine? My Texan girlfriends should have an answer for this, as well as whether hunting knives, camouflage vests and feed store hats should be washed in warm or cold water.

How the laundry is handed to me is how the laundry is washed. The socks are already tucked into cute little balls. Not my fault if they are still damp in the middle. I think they were damp in the middle when you handed them to me, actually.


Judge me if you must. But would you rather stick your hands into the family’s dirty laundry, turning pockets and socks out…or be super excited that you’ve thoroughly cleaned three rocks, a cherry Chapstick, and a rubber lizard? Um…and a bullet?

I cannot begin to tell you how tempted I am to simply hang all the wet laundry over the staircase baluster. I’m much too lazy to hang a laundry line outside, even if the silly HOA rules allowed it.

Which they don’t.

I’m content just knowing I bravely tread where spiders dare not live, a foot bracing the door, one hand tossing dirty underwear into the machine, one hand searching for the bleach, wearing a Kevlar vest and a clothespin clipped on my nose.

Published inLiving Larger


  1. Michelle Juanengo

    As the wife of a husband in law enforcement, bullets are a frequent find and they do not fire off in a hot dryer…..yet.

  2. Sarah

    Laundry is my NEMESIS:-{!!! I can’t ever seem to get a handle on it. I would do a load a day but then the water bill would go up and hubby would definitely complain. As it is, I wait until the weekend and there is such a mountain of yuck that I can barely face it. Suggestions? P.S. I do always find money in the dryer and yes, I keep it:D!

  3. Anonymous

    love this…and can totally relate. Went from a laundry room to a laundry closet…literally. In my kitchen of all places. Sock balls go in, sock balls come out..wet in the middle. Wallets, passports, money, hair clips, gems, rocks, nails, name it! A load a day keeps the insanity away.

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