It really is the simple things. You're looking at the most wonderful set of mismatched appliances ever to grace a garage.
Yesterday I bought the washing machine. The dryer was already here; I checked it over while Natalie was in town (I'd barely been seen in the garage before that). The on knob is cracked, so you have to turn it with pliers, but it heats up and works just fine. (Thanks for showing me how to wield them pliers, Natalie, smooch smooch.)
It hardly seemed right to have a fine working drying machine sitting idle, but I resigned myself to doing the laundromat thing for a month or two. Then I had all these dirty clothes. And I couldn't bring myself to pack them in the car. Instead I went in search of. Budget constraints dictated a used washer, but this was one of those rare times when I didn't want something from a private Craig's List seller. I didn't want to haul home somebody's sworn-to-work machine only to have it clunk on me next week. Online I found a place called Justified Appliance, and they sell refurbished machines. (They really refurbish them, too. I saw the "laboratory" while I was there. Surely they must do their personal laundry, you know, to test their work.) The great thing about Justified is that they include a 3-year warranty on everything they sell, parts, labor and all. For 155 + 45 for delivery, I got an older Kenmore that's clean as a whistle, and no worries if it breaks down.
Why am I telling you all this? Because it's been many, many years since I've had my own washer and dryer. I think the last and only time, Schmin was 5 years old. It was such brief period that I'd all but forgotten about it. Today I was thinking I'd never had my own, then I remembered washing in my kitchen, so many years ago.
Such a small thing, washing at home, but it's one of the reasons I left Los Angeles. When you're going along, living the apartment life in the Big City, you fly through the days not paying much attention to prickly matters like having to rush to grab your things out of the community dryer, before someone else does. And that's if you're lucky enough to have a community dryer, rather than going to the laundromat. You can't afford to make too much of inconvenience, and when it began to define my experience, I knew it was time to seek another way of living. I wouldn't trade my time in New York or LA for all the washers in the world, but I wouldn't trade my washer to live exclusively in either one again (and especially not my parking space).
Sometimes these normal things amaze me. They leave me endlessly grateful, and slightly disbelieving. I swear I've got a roll of quarters handy, in case I walk out to the garage and find my machines suddenly require them, like almost all the other machines I've known. Maybe there'll be some strange person there, too, waiting for me to get my clothes out of the washer, so she can have a turn.