Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Laundry Day - A Learning Experience!!

Hi all - Dianne here.  I'll warn you before reading further that this blog is about life and lessons learned as a fulltimer, which we are just getting the hang of.  No travelogue today!

Before I get into the laundry issue, note in the "blue jeans" photo the new TV installation we had done at Bradd & Hall in Elkhart when we first began this journey.  It looks great, matches the cabinetry perfectly, and looks as though it's always been there.  I'm including a photo of our old TV to give you an idea of the change.  The old TV was fine, too, but was not digital and was extremely heavy.  After receiving the new digital signal over our batwing antenna, it is unbelievably better.  We are really glad we changed them out.  

 Well, we had our first and probably last mega laundry day.   I knew it was going to be a difficult day when I couldn't remember where I'd packed the laundry detergent I'd brought from home.  After spending WAY too much time searching for it, I decided I'd just go to the Sav-A-Lot next door to the laundromat and buy some more.  I had a small bottle of Tide that had been in the motorhome for a year or so, so I had enough to get started.  I knew I already had one roll of quarters in my purse from the day before (in case we needed it for parking), so I added two more rolls to the tote bag and set off with the thought of doing nine loads of laundry in the time it takes to do one or two.

First, I must explain why we had SO MUCH laundry.  We packed all of our old, raggedy dish cloths and old underwear, with the plan to use once and throw away, thereby postponing the need for doing laundry until we at least got our bearings and got away from the cold.   This worked so well that we never did run out of clean clothes!   Then, to compound the issue, the weather was so beautiful once we DID get south, that we kept thinking of other things we'd rather do.    

Once I lugged the bulging bags of laundry into "Dirty Harry's Laundromat" (actual name), I realized that each washer required 16 quarters!   Admittedly, it held as much as two normal loads, so I guess that's not too unreasonable.   Here's where the problems began.   The small bottle of Tide from the motorhome was NOT full as I thought, but only had enough for two loads.   I looked in my purse to walk next door to buy more and realized I had forgotten to change purses and had NO cash, NO credit cards, and only two rolls of quarters total, not the third one that was in my other purse back home.

I did manage to get all but two of my loads washed.  The dryers gave five minutes of drying time for each quarter.  What a rip off!!  When I finally ran out of quarters (after having to use precious quarters to buy single portions of detergent), I was left with the equivalent of seven regular-sized loads of clean laundry, NONE of which was fully dry.  In fact, it was all very, very damp!   

Had it been a sunny, warm, breezy day I could have discreetly hung some things outside.   Problem is, had it been a sunny, warm, breezy day we would have found something better to do than laundry.  It was gray, cool, and drizzly.  No way to hang anything out.

The dryer at the campground was already being used, with others waiting their turn.  That option was out.   Here's where a little ingenuity kicked in (thanks to Roger):

Note the dandy drying rack!   Beth, if you see this, this belonged to your dad.  I rescued it from Amanda's garage.   The fan was my idea.  That would have worked all right, but the secret ingredient was the space heater behind the fan.  This was Roger's idea.   It worked great!   The items on this drying rack dried much faster than the other items we hung ALL OVER the motor home.  As each rack load dried, we rotated other items to the rack to take their place.  In this way, we had all the laundry dried, folded, and put away before we went to bed.   

Roger here....  I have only one thing to add.  Dianne commented many times about how well the gerry-rigged clothes drier was working.   I want it to be known that I have made it perfectly clear that this is NOT something that we (or at least I) intend to experience again.  

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