Home » Attitudes » Lessons From a Laundromat

Lessons From a Laundromat

We made the big 1/2 mile move today. Technically yesterday. My days are really afternoons and nights. I went to bed at 10 instead of 5 a.m. and I’m oddly off kilter tonight. The move went without a hitchย  (or rather, the hitch worked just swell) and we only had one minor mishap. I’ll write about that when I can think in whole sentences again.

This shot clearly was not taken anywhere near Cuero, which is our closest city (pop. 6500). I wrote this a while back on a short-lived blog I started in Oregon.

The lessons continue, even if I no longer have to go to the laundromat (oh, and I am 55 now so I hope I’ve done some changing). ๐Ÿ˜€


I made my weekly trip to the Laundromat. Surprisingly, I was the only person who choose to spend their sunny Saturday afternoon soaking and tumbling at the Duds and Suds. Since I forgot my book, I resorted to my typical fall-back mode of ‘straightening things’. It’s actually a pretty clean laundromat, so all I could think of to do was organize – maybe even alphabetize- the magazine rack.

Shuffling the magazines, I found quite a variety of reading materials:
The Holy Bible (KJV)
Our Daily Bread
The American Legion
Allen Brother’s (The Great Steakhouse Steaks)
ACLU: At War with America
Freedom 1st
The New Yorker
Popular Science
Handy: The Handyman Club of America
Cigars International
The Progressive Farmer
Voice of the Martyrs

My first thought was: I’ll bet the folks who donated these wouldn’t much like each other. I’m afraid the reason I thought that will become too clear in another paragraph. It’s always easy for me to make obvious, or even profound life applications for others.

There are those whom I know that read The Daily Bread that think the ACLU is the devil’s spawn (literally), and believe AARP is almost as evil. I also know folks who order from Cabala’s and have nothing but scorn for anyone who would read Popular Science.
I don’t know anyone (as far as I know) that reads The Progressive Farmer, so I have no idea how they might feel about Allen Brother’s Steaks.
But the small-minded, bigotry just jumps right out at you, doesn’t it?

And there I stood, thinking that exact thing. I started thinking about whether or not I would like the people who donated certain selections. Really, Debbie? Based on what magazines they read?

I found myself drowning in the misconception that other people should share my enlightened views. And if not, well, possibly they wouldn’t make very charming dinner companions.
Funny that I remember feeling that way at 15 and 25 and 35 and 45 and since I’m not 55 yet, maybe this is the time for a change.

Change doesn’t come as easily to me in the rest of life as it does at the Laundromat. There my old currency is converted into something shiny and useful and helpful with the power, along with just a tiny bit of potion, to cleanse and restore.

I’m ready to change. I don’t want to read a bumper sticker and think: Doubt he’d be my cup of tea or form opinions of people based on their yard signs. The rush to judgement that I have to keep in check is the sign of a very small heartย  in a very large world.

Change. It’s time for some. The old still has it’s place, there’s room for so much new.

Any time I think I have the corner on the truth, it’s probably time to take a different fork in the road!

30 thoughts on “Lessons From a Laundromat

  1. Your laundromat blog was so good, I had to share it with Bob. Both of us got many laughs out of it.

    We spent 30 years in the Portland area and I have bought my fair share of books from Powell’s City of Books. (It’s probably bigger than the town of “Peggy”!

  2. Dear Debbie,

    You Go Girl! I LOVE this post and the fork you have taken is one mighty one.

    I think this same stuff when I am at the Y looking at all the magazines. SO many differing views. I love the Y because I SEE the people who read the magazines sit and drink coffee with one another. I especially like to listen to Trudy (97 year old survivor of the holocaust) talk mideast peace with Kalid (political refugee from Iraq and a Muslim) They just GET ALONG! Once in a while someone will come along, someone new and interject something that starts with “You people…” and EVERYONE just shuts them down! It is not OK to talk like that at the Y and I love it there because of that.

    I am with mel: your photos are perfect. So are you.

    Change. Yep the only constant besides Love.

    XO Jen

    • Jen –
      I’m not big on sauna’s (because I think I’m in one most of the time these days). My sister says I only have about 10 more years of hot flashes to go! ๐Ÿ˜€
      BUT, I would love to visit your Y and meet your ladies of the steamy sauna.
      What a fascinating group!
      Thanks for being here, my friend,

  3. Debbie, this post is such a blessing today in the middle of all the terrible political poison being spewed all around everythwhere. Guess what? I support ACLU, AARP, read the New Yorker everyweek, read my Bible and scriptural posts on line twice (minimum) every day, and grew up reading The Progressive Farmer! You are SO on target for pointing out that no human, only God, has the corner on the truth! So pleased Steven Sawyer lead me to this post. Wonderful! Get some much deserved rest, girl!

    • Hello Granbee!
      Wow! You are one fascinating woman with really diverse tastes!
      I just love that! I wish we could sit down and have a chat over a cup of coffee. I can tell I have much to learn from you. ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thank you for stopping by and my thanks to Steven for the re-post!

  4. Deb-Are you in the Karnes City area–we’re about 13 miles W in Coy City (they have nerve calling these dots on the map cities, don’t they) and there are RIGs about every mile–I can see dozens of them from here. Today I was in the the PEGGY post office-actually just a woman sitting in a deserted store with a mailbox in front–if I’d had my camera, I’d have sent you a photo–you could have done a whole blog on it with your writing skill! Geez it’s cold and windy out there tonight, isn’t it! Keep up the good work! Nancy

    • Nancy –
      We’re quite a bit north of Karnes City (population 3500)!
      You’re right about the loose use of the word “city”!
      We’re in the country (who isn’t) between Yoakum (5800) and Cuero (6500). ๐Ÿ˜€
      Being a menopausal Midwesterner, I’m loving these 50 degree nights and remembering last summer when it didn’t get below 85 for 2 months…
      I would have loved a Peggy Post Office Picture! I think the smallest one I’ve been to so far was in Whitsett. Peggy takes the cake!

  5. And you were in Michigan?

    Have you read BLINK? Its all about our quick judgments/perceptions – in the blink of an eye – although you had a bit of time to look and think on the reading material. I’m still wondering how I got on the Baby Magazine list and Similac coupons….???

    • Judi –
      The Power Of Thinking Without Thinking – I’ve heard of it but haven’t read it. I’m about 100 miles from a real library. I’ll see if I can get borrow it from the CR library for my Kindle.
      Laughing at the Similac coupons! ๐Ÿ˜€

      • “Blink” is the title I was talking about. what we think in the blink of an eye type thing. Next I received a parenting magazine….God is there a message that I’m missing?

  6. Gracious one . . .I left a comment here earlier. Did it end up in your spam, I wonder? Anyway, I loved the post and how you can see something and write so well about it, wherever you might be! God bless you as you settle in! love and prayers!

  7. Love this, Debbie! And how you can get a post out of a laundromat visit. That takes skills, my dear! ๐Ÿ™‚ The therapist where Aub goes riding at told me a laundromat story that still makes me laugh. Every so often she has to wash her horses’ blankets. At the laundromat she was met by hostile looks and comments. “Can you wash those here? What are they? ” Clearly unhappy with her desire to have the blankets washed. She forged ahead and assured the lady that she has done it before and she would make sure the washer was clean before she left. Then she told me due to all the looks and statements, she never goes to the same laundromat twice. haha! She might be the one who leaves Horses.com in there.
    love and prayers as you settle in!

    • Debbie – Oh, that’s funny!
      Last summer, being my first summer in Texas, I didn’t realize the importance of checking out the interior of the washers.
      Twice (I’m a slow learner), I pulled out towels with drowned cockroaches on them. They were clean cockroaches, but still, I’d rather follow the horse blankets!
      Is that Aub on the horse? Great photo! ๐Ÿ˜€

      • I am laughing at the clean cockroaches! I’ll be sure to tell Julie this, that there is something worse than horse blankets in the washers. haha! And yes, that was Aub on Rocky, one of the really special horses there. ๐Ÿ™‚
        God bless you! love – the other deb

      • Deb –
        It was so fun to see Aub’s photo since I pray for her every night (and extra on Thursdays and Fridays, just in case)!
        The first time I drowned a batch of cockroaches, I thought it was just a fluke. The second time I came to terms with the fact that the washing machines were their home and I really needed to clean before I washed! ๐Ÿ˜€
        I love having an RV with a washer and dryer (since last Sept)!

  8. You’re amazing. Your pictures are so cool. Not to say that you weren’t influenced by the signs, or if the signs just happened to shape your thoughts .. but the match of photos and thoughts work perfectly. If only we could stick a one dollar bill in the machine and out would pop all different kinds of coins that we liked equally well. Not just the big ones.

    What a diverse Laundromat you have there in So. Texas. Impressive. Apparently no children … no “Highlights”. Love mel

    • Hello mel!
      I reworked this post last night, but I originally wrote it back in Oregon. The laundromat was on the edge of Port Orford, which is my favorite tiny town because it has a wonderful Dolly Harbor where we often watched the fisherman haul in their boatloads of crabs!
      The laundry mats is Texas aren’t nearly as clean and are never air conditioned (not in small town rural Texas)
      We have a washer and dryer in the RV now. I don’t miss those hot laundry mat days!

  9. Oh, sis Debbie, this was great as usual. I love that you can make us smile or laugh–and at the same time, give our brains something “chewy”. Hilarious, that you wanted to straighten up the laundromat! Like you, I travel with book or 2 in hand–but if I’m somewhere that has other books/magazines, I can’t stop myself from perusing them, lest I miss something!! Glad the hitch went well and you got moved–I’ve got you on my list to email (waiting for a humorous story, or something). God bless you and Heidi abundantly today. love, sis Caddo with all the honorary credentials

    • Hello Caddo!
      This was a bit of a departure from my usual lighthearted Fork fair.
      That particular laundromat had such eclectic reading material, I laughed right out loud! ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. Miss Debbie, thanks for another entertaining blog, you are always a highlight to my morning when your blog comes out. Please don’t ever lose your……….way of blogging, it is throughly enjoyed.

    Just me,
    From the Great American Southwest

    • Hello Kevin!
      Thank you for your encouragement. I’ve almost quit writing Fork so many time, but I resurrecting it. I appreciate knowing that you enjoy it. ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thank you so much,

  11. Debbie, this is one of the best blogs I have ever read! What a story. I love the way you shared your life through your thoughts while visiting, of all things, a laundramat. It makes me want to go out and find an old hardware store or a drugstore and take my laptop. And what a diversified, experience-laden life you have lived. I loved your “About Me” page. I am a regular reader, and will continue being blessed by your blog post perspective. I would love to re-blog this, with your permission. Of course I will include a link back to your website. I’ve done the laundromat thing before. I remembered to take my book, but I was more fascinated, like you, by the variety of magazines.
    This is my favorite part: “I donโ€™t know anyone (as far as I know) that reads The Progressive Farmer, so I have no idea how they might feel about Allen Brotherโ€™s Steaks. But the small-minded, bigotry just jumps right out at you, doesnโ€™t it?” I grew up in Iowa so I read Progressive Farmer before. Love it. Look forward to reading much more. Have a blessed day, Debbie, and I hope you find the change you seek.

    • Hello Steve!
      What part of Iowa? I lived in Cedar Rapids for 30 years.
      Thank you for your kind words.
      I’d be honored to have you re-blog this.
      I wrote most of the original body of this post about 3 years ago.
      I’ve changed quite a lot since then.
      My prayer is to be changing until the day I die – or I won’t really be living. I certainly won’t be growing!
      Thank you, once again, Steve!

      • Thank you again. Actually, I reblogged it today. I wanted to copy everything so I could use all your photos and I wanted to write something as an intro. When I reblog from my intro winds up at the end as a comment. Here’s a link if you’re interested in how I introduced it. http://bit.ly/HU1g15 Looking forward to reading more forks in the road. Thanks again.

  12. Morning Debbie
    So glad your move went well –
    We have something else in common – we lived in OR for 8 years – all over the Portland Metro area and finally living in a small farming community called Woodburn.
    Then we moved to the Desert
    Our move is tomorrow
    Talk to you soon
    God Bless

    • Hello dear Susie –
      I’m back-pedaling,trying to find the post(s) in your blog that tell me what’s happening? Where are you going? Could you send me the link? (love your new look, by the way)
      I love Oregon. We were just 60 miles from the CA border so we had a lot more sun and a lot less rain than Portland. Did you visit Powell Books in Portland?
      I could have spent a week there! ๐Ÿ˜€
      Traveling mercies, my friend!

      • Butting in…

        POWELLS BOOKS! Oh MY! What a marvelous place! I was there last year when my son was at fencing nationals. My friend Diane and I could NOT wait for the bouts to end so we could hustle the kids to Powells. They have a poetry section to die for and I order a lot of out of print poetry from them all the time.

        Oh Powells.. how do I love thee….

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